I was surprised by the support we received by those who passed by the line. The rally was also like something out of a movie.
Notice our emblem. I knew our Union was obviously influenced by Freemasonry. What I didn't know was that, according to our president, as told to me yesterday, most of the 19 men who founded the Machinists' Union were Freemasons.
'The IAM was formed in 1888 by 19 machinists meeting in a locomotive pit in Atlanta, Georgia calling themselves "The Order of United Machinist and Mechanical Engineers." The organization remained secret for several years due to employer hostility toward organized labor. Despite the secrecy, the membership continued to grow thanks to "boomers", men who traveled from place to place looking for work on the railroads.'
The significance of their meeting place is very interesting to me, btw.
'It is also present in many craft unions. The Carpenters whose symbol includes the All seeing Eye, the level and the angle, and whose motto is Labor Omnia Vincent also shows this Masonic influence. This also holds true for the Brotherhoods such as that of the Railway Carmen, whose union meetings opened with elaborate Masonic style ceremonies, oaths of secrecy, officers in jewels and aprons. This continued until the early 1960s according to one local official. The International Association of Machinists (IAM), began this way as well with elaborate ceremonies, rituals, secret oaths etc. In fact it is reported that at the beginning of the last century the IAM executive divided themselves politically between what they called the Masons and the Catholic board members' - Looking Backwards: The Fraternal Origins of Working Class Organizations In the Transition from Feudalism to Capitalism by Eugene Plawiuk
Thomas Wilson Talbot - Founder, NAM, IAM