Federated Association of Wire Drawers



The hour of meeting having arrived and a sufficient number of brothers being present, the President will take the chair and proceeds as follows:
This Union is about to be opened and all not members of our order will please retire.
The Guard will close the inner door and proceed to ascertain if all present are qualified to remain. He will take the names of all visiting members together with the number of the Union of which they are members and report the same to the President.
Bro. President, I have examined all members present and find them qualified to remain; visiting members are Bros. … of Unions No. … respectively.
Thanks, Bro. Guard, you will now resume your station.
The President will here give two raps with the gavel, calling up Officers.
Bro. President, what is the purpose of this meeting here to-night and what should be accomplished by it?
The purposes of our organization is education, and through education fraternity. Let us unite as one in this great battle against wage-slavery and the emancipation of our class will result.
Bro. President, what is the reason of our being engaged in this class struggle against organized capital?
The reason of our struggle against capital can be clearly defined as ignorance on the one hand and combination on the other.
Financial Secretary:
Bro. President, to what cause is the ignorance of the masses due?
There is not one cause alone but several causes, the principle ones being their own neglect and carelessness as regards their own welfare, and their inability, through poverty, to obtain a better education.
Bro. President, what is the cause and effect of combination?
Combination and co-operation if properly applied would be the greatest boon ever enjoyed by mankind, but combination as a direct result of capitalistic competition is one of the worst phases of our present industrial system.
Bro. President, should workingmen concentrate their efforts for the destruction of the competitive system under which we at present suffer?
President, giving three raps with the gavel to call up entire Union will proceed as follows:
Competetion is the power used by unscrupulous manufacturers to reduce us to the degrading conditions of serfs, let us destroy its root and branch. Let us through our organization obtain possession of the machinery on which we are employed, and so control ourselves as to give each and all their proper share in this great social and moral progress, of the age. Giving one rap with the gavel to seat the Union I now declare this Union open for the transaction of such business as may legally come before it.
Bro. Guard, you will please ascertain if any applicants for membership in our order desire to be initiated.
Bro. President, I find … applicants awaiting initiation.
The Financial Secretary and Treasurer will please retire and inspect the candidates in waiting.
Treasurer to applicants:
Have you examined our Constitution and By-Laws before seeking membership in this Union? Answer.
Treasurer to applicants:
Do you believe in the principle of the referendum vote? Answer.
Financial Secretary to applicants:
Are you willing to place your name on our roll of honor, and sign our Constitution? Answer.
Financial Secretary and Treasurer returning to meeting.
Financial Secretary:
Bro. President, the dues are all paid and questions properly answered.
Thanks, Bro. Officers, you will retire to your stations.
Bro. Guide, you will now introduce the candidates for instruction.
Bro. President, allow me to introduce Mr. … giving names, who now come of their own free will and accord soliciting membership to our ranks.
My friends, I extend to you a cordial welcome, and sincerely hope we shall be of mutual protection to each other, you will bear in mind that the principles of this organization are to elevate and improve the industrial masses, so that they will clearly realize their rights and how to obtain them, to teach them, that true wealth is not found in riches, but in the wealth of friendship and mutuality which surrounds them. We believe that capital is the result of effort on the part of our forefathers and realize that before we can obtain the rights to which we are entitled, that capital must be used for the benefit of all the people.
After this statement of our principles are you willing to proceed? Answer.
You will place your right hand on your left breast and repet after me the following obligation, using your own name where I use mine:
I, …, do most sincerely and unreservedly promise, that I will never reveal any of the secret work of this order, that I will honor and obey the Laws, Rules and Usages of the Federated Association of Wire Drawers now in force, or that may hereafter be adopted, that I will cultivate a feeling of fraternal regard for my associates in this great movement, that I will endeavour to the best of my ability to understand and promote the principles and precepts of the order, and so study its teachings that it will be in a position to advocate Unionism at all times, as my labor is all I have to support myself and my family; I shall regard this obligation as paramount to all others. I will not knowingly wrong a brother or see one wronged if it is in my power to prevent it. I will be considerate to the Widow and Orphan, and respectful in word and deed to every woman and endeavour to se act as to merit the good will of my fellow members and the respect of my fellow citizens.
Union in Chorus:
We are witnesses of your solemn obligation.
Bro. Guide, you will now conduct these friends to the Vice-President, who will advance them on their way to membership in our Union.
My friends, I welcome you on your way to membership in our order, and as we become better acquainted, I feel assured that our connection with each other will be more sacredly regarded by us. Let your courage be firm, and your confidence in your fellow members increase as our fidelity to our obligation should at all times be the link which binds us as one man together. We have signs of recognition, pass-words, signals etc. which I will now give you. The pass-word is the means used to obtain entrance into a Union when in session, and is given to members only by the Vice-President and always in a whisper; and the members never give it to one another except for testing purposes. The pass-word for this term is … gives pass-word.
When you wish to enter a meeting, you will knock at the inside door, and to the guardian who responds, give him the pass-word which I just gave you; this will admit you to meeting room when you will advance to the center of the room, face the President and give this sign, when he responds you will quickly take your seat in the meeting.
Should you wish to retire before the meeting is regularly closed, you will first obtain permission from the Vice-President, and then facing the President give the retiring sign, when you will quietly retire.
Bro. Guide, you will now present our friends to the President for closing instructions.
My friends, I now welcome you to membership in our order. May our association in both work and zeal be mutually pleasant and profitable. The gavel in the hands of the president is the emblem of authority of the F.A. of W.D. One rap calls the Union to order or seats it when standing, two raps calls up the officers, and three raps calls up the entire Union. But before you take a seat in the meeting, let me impress upon your mind and the minds of the members present a few rules of Lodge etiquette.
First, it is never proper to cross the hall between the altar and the president’s pedestal when the Union is in session, except upon three important occasions:
1. The initiation of candidates.
2. The installation of officers and
3. At the funeral of a brother when held in the Union hall; it is never proper to speak on any question, unless recognized by the chair, and not then more than once, without permission of the President. No member should designedly interrupt a member when speaking, or cross the hall without permission of the President.
Faithfulness in these few things will insure decorum and a speedy transaction of business. Observe well the rules of order in the back of your constitution and govern yourselves accordingly.
Bro. Guide, you will now conduct these friends to the Secretary’s desk where they will sign the roll of honor.
Closing of Union
The President will call up the Union:
Brothers, we are now about to separate for to-night, let nothing that has transpired in this meeting be discussed by you until your next meeting, when I hope to see you all present. Please give the retiring sign.