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Adopted at Territorial Sugar Unity Conference held in Hilo, Hawaii
on January 3, 4, 5, 1948

  • THE ILWU IS AN AMERICAN INSTITUTION founded on the principles of American democracy. We are dedicated to the welfare of our membership and to a better life for the people in the communities in which we live.
  • THE CONSTITUTION OF THE ILWU and the structure of its organization is a living daily example of democracy in action. This Constitution provides for the fullest expression of the democratic process. It imposes an obligation and a duty on the entire membership to safeguard, to use, and to strengthen their democratic rights by active participation in the life of the union.
  • THE ILWU IS GOVERNED by the principles and policies formulated through the democratic machinery of the union. No political party, Communist, Republican, Democratic or other, and no racial or religious group shall determine our policies.
  • THE AFFAIRS OF THE UNION are the property of the membership and the membership alone. No clique, or group of any nature shall dominate its work or govern its affairs.
  • ALL OFFICERS AND LEADING MEMBERS are obligated and entrusted by reason of their office to carry out the policies of the union as determined by the membership. Acceptance of office is acceptance of this obligation and no office in the union or union funds shall be used for the advancement of personal or private objective or gains.
  • THIS UNION will not be a party to any witch-hunt or red-baiting campaign. The individual opinions or beliefs of the members are their own, and the democratic machinery of the union extends equally to the protection of the individual in their right to hold their own convictions.

THESE ARE THE PRINCIPLES that have guided this union since its formation. They stand on their own merits. They guarantee the maintenance of our organization, the security of our membership, and our basic rights as Americans.