Andrew Furuseth (1854-1938), was born in Furuseth, Norway and went to sea in 1873. He immigrated to California in 1880, making his home in San Francisco, and in 1885 he joined the Coast Seamen's Union, serving as secretary from 1887 to 1889. He later served as secretary of the Sailors' Union of the Pacific (1891-92, 1892-1936), president of the International Seamen's Union of America (1897-99, 1908-38), and as a legislative representative in Washington, D.C., for the AFL (1895-1902) and for the Seamen.

Adolph Strasser (1843-1939), was born in Hungary and immigrated to the United States about 1872. A cigarmaker and an organizer, Strasser was a member of the International Workingmen's Association and, in 1874, helped organize the Social Democratic Workingmen's Party of North America, serving as its executive secretary.

In 1876 Strasser was a delegate to the unity congress that organized the Workingmen's Party of the United States, and he aligned with the trade unionist faction of the party. During 1876 and 1877 he worked to establish a central organization of New York City trade unions, and his efforts culminated in the founding of the Amalgamated Trades and Labor Union of New York and Vicinity in the summer of 1877.

Strasser was elected vice-president of the Cigar Makers International Union in 1876 and president in 1877 and successfully promoted the reorganization of the union in the late 1870s and early 1880s. After retiring as president in 1891, he continued to work for the CMIU as an organizer, auditor, and troubleshooter. In addition, he served as an AFL lecturer, an AFL legislative representative (1895), and AFL arbitrator of jurisdictional disputes.