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THE LAW RELATING TO STRIKES, BLACKLISTING, BOYCOTTS, ETC.
THE STATUTE LAW.
Legislation on the subject of labor disturbances as such is mainly of recent enactment in this country, and is far from being uniform in the different States, some having few or no laws of the class indicated, while others have enactments covering pretty fully the field to be considered. Prior to the passage of these laws, such legal action as was had on this subject was based on the principles of the common law, and chiefly on the law governing criminal conspiracy. Proceedings in equity to secure injunctions have been and are still among the most common efforts to obtain relief from the courts in cases of difficulties arising from labor disputes.
The codes of many States contain statutes on the subject of conspiracy, which are practically enactments of the rules of the common law on this subject. A number of these exempt labor combinations from their operation, while others make special reference to conspiracies against workingmen. In the compilation of laws given herewith, only those conspiracy laws are reproduced which contain specific mention of labor in some form, general laws on criminal conspiracy being omitted. The same rule is followed in the presentation of other statutes, those only being here set forth which either by obvious intent or by the interpretation of the courts are seen to be applicable to the subject in hand.
These statutes are followed, where such decisions are available, brief notes on the decisions of courts in cases tried under their provisions. The laws published are intended to include all those in force at the end of the year 1906.
A brief statement of the common law applicable to strikes and their attendant incidents is appended, together with references to some representative decisions.
Laws providing for mediation and the arbitration of labor disputes have been enacted in a considerable number of States and by the Congress of the United States. A list of the States having laws or constitutional provisions of this nature is given below, together with a reference to the law itself:
California (Acts of 1891, chap. 51), Colorado (Acts of 1897, chap. 2, as amended by Acts of 1903, chap. 136), Connecticut (Gen. Stat. 1902,
secs. 4708 to 4713), Idaho (Const., art. 13, sec. 7; Polit. Code 1901, secs. 641 to 654), Illinois (A. S. 1896, chap. 48, secs. 8 to 15, as amended by Acts of 1899, p. 75, Acts of 1901, p. 90, and Acts of 1903, p. 84), Indiana (A. S. 1901, secs. 7050a to 7050q), Kansas (Gen. Stat. 1901, secs. 332 to 341), Louisiana (R. L. 1897, p. 20, secs. 1 to 13), Maryland (Pub. Gen. Laws 1903, art. 7, secs. 1 to 6; Acts of 1904, chap. 671), Massachusetts (R. L. 1902, chap. 106, secs. 1 to 6, as amended by Acts of 1904, chap. 313), Michigan (C. L. 1897, secs. 559 to 568; Acts of 1903, act No. 69), Minnesota (Acts of 1895, chap. 170), Missouri (Acts of 1901, p. 195; Acts of 1903, p. 218), Montana (Codes and Stat. 1895, secs. 3330 to 3338), New Jersey (Gen. Stat. 1895, p. 73, secs. 22 to 39), New York (R. S. 1901, p. 2088, sec. 1d; p. 2111, secs. 140 to 149), Ohio (Bates' A. S., 3d ed., secs. 4364-90 to 4364-106), Pennsylvania (B. P. Dig. 1895, p. 132, secs. 58 and 67 to 80; p. 290, secs. 1 to 9), Texas (R. Civ. Stat. 1895, arts. 61a to 61k), Utah (Const., art. 16, sec. 2; Acts of 1901, chap. 68), Washington (Acts of 1903, chap. 58), Wisconsin (A. S. 1898, secs. 1729b to 1729j), Wyoming (Const., art. 19, sec. 1), and the United States (C. S. 1901, p. 3205).
Of these States, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Utah, and Wisconsin have State boards; while in Kansas, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington only local boards are provided for. Besides the State boards, local or special boards may be formed in California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, and Wisconsin. In New Jersey and New York an appeal may be taken from the local to the State boards; while in Colorado, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, Ohio, and Wisconsin the local boards are authorized to ask for and receive advice and assistance from the State boards. In a number of the States a member of a labor organization must be appointed a member of the board; in general, both employers and employees must be represented.
It is made the duty of nearly all the State boards to attempt to mediate between the parties to a dispute when information is received of an actual or threatened labor trouble. Arbitration may be undertaken on application from either party in California, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, Ohio, and Wisconsin, while the application of both parties is required in Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Texas, and Utah. The Missouri statute makes it the duty of both parties to submit their disputes to the State board, though the statute provides for arbitration even though one of the parties refuses to agree thereto. An application will be entertained if made by but party must be obtained before arbitration is actually undertaken. In Washington, the commissioner of labor is to attempt to procure a submission to arbitration in case his individual efforts at mediation are unsuccessful. An agreement to maintain the status quo pending arbitration proceedings is quite commonly required.
The attendance of witnesses may in most instances be enforced by subpænas, and one or all the members of the various boards are in general authorized to administer oaths.
The modes of enforcement of obedience to the award of the boards are various. Some States depend on publicity alone, though in others the statute gives the decisions of the boards the effect of a judgment of a court of law, which may be enforced by execution; in other States disobedience to such decisions is to be punished as for contempt of court. The costs of these courts are generally to be met by the State; in Texas and Utah, however, the costs must be paid by the parties and are to be apportioned by the boards as a part of the award.
Wyoming has no statutory provision, the legislature having failed thus far to carry out the provision of the constitution directing the formation of a board.
The United States statute applies only to common carriers engaged in interstate commerce, and provides for an attempt to be made at mediation by two designated Government officials in case of any controversy between common carriers and their employees, and for the formation of a board of arbitration, consisting of the same officials, together with certain other parties to be selected, in case the attempt at mediation fails. This board, however, is to be formed only at the request or upon the consent of both parties to the controversy.
On account of their length and general similarity, further reference to arbitration laws is omitted. Other statutes mentioned above as relating directly to labor disputes are given herewith.
CODE OF 1897.
Intimidation of employees, etc.
SECTION 5511. Any person, who, by force or threats of violence to person or property, prevents or seeks to prevent another from doing work or furnishing materials, or from contracting to do work or furnish materials, for or to any person engaged in any lawful business, or who disturbs, interferes with, or prevents or in any manner attempts to prevent the peaceable exercise of any lawful industry, business, or calling by any other person, must, on conviction, be fined not less than ten nor more than five hundred dollars, and may also be imprisoned in the county jail, or sentenced to hard
ACTS OF 1903.
Act No. 329.--Boycotting, Blacklisting, etc.
SECTION 1. It shall be unlawful for two or more persons to conspire together for the purpose of preventing any person, persons, firm or corporation from carrying on any lawful business within the State of Alabama, or for the purpose of interfering with the same.
Sec. 2. It shall be unlawful for any person or persons to go near to or loiter about the premises or place of business, of any person, firm or corporation engaged in a lawful business, for the purpose of influencing or inducing others not to trade with, buy from, sell to or have business dealings with such person, firm or corporation, or to picket the works or place of business of such other person, firm or corporation for the purpose of interfering with or injuring any lawful business or enterprise: Provided, That nothing herein shall prevent any person from soliciting, trade or business for a competitive business.
Sec. 3. It shall be unlawful to print or circulate any notice of boycott, boycott cards, stickers, dodgers or unfair lists, publishing or declaring that a boycott or ban exists or has existed or is contemplated against any person, firm or corporation doing a lawful business, or publishing the name of any judicial officer or other public official upon any blacklist, unfair list or other similar list because of any lawful act or decision of such official.
Sec. 4. It shall be unlawful to use force, threats or other means of intimidation to prevent any person from engaging in any lawful occupation at any place he or she sees fit.
Sec. 5. It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to maintain a black list or to notify any other firm or corporation that any person has been blacklisted by such person, firm or corporation, or to use any other similar means to prevent such persons from receiving employment. Any person, firm or corporation violating any provision of this act must, on conviction, pay a fine of not less than fifty ($50) dollars, nor more than five hundred ($500) dollars, or to be imprisoned not to exceed sixty days hard labor for the county.
ACTS OF 1905.
Act No. 214.- Blacklisting. SECTION 1. Every person who shall, in this state, send or deliver, or shall make or cause to be made for the purpose of being delivered or sent, or shall part with the possession of any paper, letter, or writing, with or without a name signed thereto, or sign with a fictitious name, or with any letter, mark or other designation, or shall publish or cause to be published any false statement for the purpose of preventing such other person from obtaining employment in this State or elsewhere, and every person who shall "blacklist " any person or persons, by writing, printing, publishing, or causing the same to be done, the name or any mark or designation representing the name of any person in any paper, pamphlet, circular, or book, together with any false statement concerning said persons so named, or shall publish that any one is a member of any secret organization, for the purpose of preventing such other person from securing employment, or any person who shall do any of these things mentioned in this section for the purpose of causing the discharge of any person employed by any railroad or other company, corporation or individuals, shall on conviction, be adjudged guilty of a misdemeanor and be fined in the sum of not less than one hun. dred dollars ($100), nor more than five hundred dollars ($500), or imprisonment in the county jail for twelve months, or both such fine and imprisonment.
ACTS OF 1903.
CHAPTER 229.- Employment of labor- False representations. Section 1. It shall be unlawful for any person, partnership, company, corporation, association, or organization of any kind, doing business in this state directly or through from one place to another in this State or to change from any place in any State, Territory, or country to any place in this State, to work in any branch of labor, through or by means of knowingly false representations, whether spoken, written, or advertised in printed form, concerning the kind or character of such work, the compensation therefor, the sanitary conditions relating to or surrounding it, or the existence or nonexistence of any strike, lockout, or other labor dispute affecting it and pending between the proposed employer or employers and the persons then or last theretofore engaged in the performance of the labor for which the employee is sought.
Sec. 2. Any violation of section one or section two hereof shall be deemed a misdemeanor, and shall be punished by a fine of not exceeding two thousand dollars or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
CHAPTER 235.- Labor combinations not unlawful. SECTION 1. No agreement, combination, or contract by or between two or more persons to do or procure to be done, or not to do or procure not to be done, any act in contemplation or furtherance of any trade dispute between employers and employees in the State of California shall be deemed criminal, nor shall those engaged therein be indictable or otherwise punishable for the crime of conspiracy, if such act committed by one person would not be punishable as a crime, nor shall such agreement, combination, or contract be considered as in restraint of trade or commerce, nor shall any restraining order or injunction be issued with relation thereto. Nothing in this act shall exempt from punishment, otherwise than as herein excepted, any persons guilty of conspiracy, for which punishment is now provided by any act of the legislature, but such act of the legislature shall, as to the agreements, combinations, and contracts herein before referred to, be construed as if this act were therein contained: Provided, That nothing in this act shall be construed to authorize force or violence, or threats thereof.
ANNOTATED STATUTES OF 1891.
Labor combinations not unlawful.
SECTION 1295. It shall not be unlawful for any two or more persons to unite, or combine, or agree in any manner, to advise or encourage, by peaceable means, any person or persons to enter into any combination in relation to entering into or remaining in the employment of any person, persons or corporation, or in relation to the amount of wages or compensation to be paid for labor, or for the purpose of regulating the hours of labor, or for the procuring of fair and just treatment from employees, or for the purpose of aiding and protecting their welfare and interests in any other manner not in violation of the constitution of this State or the laws made in pursuance thereof: Provided, That this act shall not be so construed as to permit two or more persons, by threats of either bodily or financial injury, or by any display of force, to prevent or intimidate any other person from continuing in such employment as he may see fit, or to boycott or intimidate any employer of labor.
ACTS OF 1905.
CHAPTER 79.- Boycotting and blacklisting. SECTION 1. It shall be unlawful for any person or persons to loiter about or patrol the streets, alleys, roads, highways, trails or place of business of any person, firm or corporation engaged in any lawful business, for the purpose of influencing or inducing others not to trade with, buy from, sell to, work for, or have business dealings with such person, firm or corporation, or to ticket the works, mine, building or other place of business or occupation of such other person, persons, firm or corporation, for the purpose of obstructing or interfering with or injuring any lawful business, work or enterprise: Provided, That nothing herein shall prevent any person from soliciting trade, custom or business for a competitive business.
Sec. 2. It shall be unlawful to print or circulate any notice of boycott, boycott card, sticker, banner, sign or dodger, publishing or declaring that a boycott or ban exists, or has esisted (existed] or is contemplated against any person, persons, firm or corporation doing a lawful business, or publish the name of any judicial officer or other public officer upon any notice of boycott, boycott card, sticker, banner, sign or