A Letter from John W. Hayes to Fusataro Takano, September 1, 1894
Sept. 1st, '94
Brooklyn, N. Y. #126 Gold St.
My Dear Sir, --
I am in receipt of your esteemed favor of August 31st. In reply will say that the forms under which our organization exists are Local Assemblies, District Assemblies, State Assemblies and National Trade Assemblies, as well as Trade Assemblies.
The Local Assembly is composed of not less than ten persons from any one trade or calling; the District Assembly is composed of not less than five Local Assemblies in a certain territory assigned to them by the General Officers. The District may be composed of not less than five Local Assemblies of five different trades and would be known as a mixed district.
The State Assembly is composed of not less than ten Locals in any State or territory of the United States.
A National Trade Assembly is composed of not less than ten assemblies composed of one particular trade and may be located either in the United States or in Canada. It is not compulsory on a Local Assembly composed of shoemakers to be attached to the National trade or Assembly of shoemakers, they can be attached to the mixed District or to the State Assembly in the Jurisdiction where they are located, but once attached to a Jurisdiction they must have a reasonable excuse for attaching to some other Jurisdiction, such excuse to be sent to our General Executive Board and acted upon.
We find after years of trial, that the best plan or organization is Local Assemblies, either composed of one trade or a number of trades and then attached to a mixed district. The State Assembly is not, in my opinion, a success and neither is the National Trade Assembly, for the reason that the officers of both cannot go around to visit the Local Assemblies as often as is necessary in work of this kind, and as a result the Local Assemblies die from inattention, but in a District covering a territory of a Congressional District, if in the country or in an entire city, it can have its officers visit the Locals every week, which will keep them up much better than by the other forms.
We have Local Assemblies of the Order in New S. Wales, New Zealand, Australia, Honolulu, England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium and S. Africa, and have applications from other countries on file for action by our General officers at their next meeting.
I should be very glad to see the Order of the Knights of Labor started in Japan, and believe as you do, that the idea of forming trades unions are not so good, they teach the member that wages are the only object for which they are organized, and
that being the general topic of discussion in their assembly, they fail to receive the higher education that comes from a proper discussion of the preamble and principles of our Order and from the labor question generally.
I send you under separate cover a copy of our Constitution and if at any time I can be of any further assistance to you, please command me.
Very truly yours,
John W. Hayes
G. S. T.