We, the Seamen of the Pacific Coast, members of the Coast Seamen's Union and Steamship Sailors' Union, having been organized separately since 1885 and 1886, respectively, and having thoroughly learned the value of organization, and further, that two organizations of the same craft at the same place are not for the best interests of men working at the said craft, we have determined to form one union, which shall be based upon the following principles:
Whatever right belongs to one member belongs to all members alike, as long as they remain in good standing in the Union.
First of these rights is the right of each member to receive fair and just remuneration for his/her labor, and to gain sufficient leisure for mental cultivation and physical recreation.
Further, we consider it our right to receive healthy and sufficient food, and proper forecastles in which to rest.
Next, is the right to be treated in a decent and respectful manner by those in command.
Next, is the right of engagement without the interference of crimps or other parties not directly interested.
We hold that the above rights belong to all seamen alike, irrespective of nationality or creed.
Recognizing the foregoing as our inalienable rights, we are conscious of corresponding duties to those in command, our employers, our craft and our country.
We will, therefore, try by all just means to promote harmonious relations with those in command by exercising due care and diligence in the performance of the duties of our profession and by giving all possible assistance to our employers in caring for their gear and property.
Based upon these principles, it is among our objectives:
- To use our influence individually and collectively for the purpose of maintaining and developing skill in seamanship and effecting a change in the maritime law of the United States, so as to render it more equitable and to make it an aid instead of a hindrance to the development of a Merchant Marine and a body of American seamen.
- To support a journal which shall voice the sentiments of the seafaring class, and through its columns seek to maintain the knowledge of and interest in maritime affairs. To assist the seamen of other countries in the work of the organization and federation, to the end of establishing the Brotherhood of the Sea.
- To assist other bona fide labor organizations whenever possible in the attainment of their just demands.
- To regulate our conduct as a Union and as individuals so as to make seamanship what it rightly is - an honorable and useful calling. And bearing in mind that we are migratory, that our work takes us away in different directions from any place where the majority might otherwise meet to act, that meetings can be attended by only a fraction of the membership, that the absent members, who cannot be present, must have their interests guarded from what might be the results of excitement and passions aroused by persons or conditions, and that those who are present may act for and in the interest of all, we have adopted this constitution.