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TRADE UNIONS, COMBINATIONS OF EMPLOYEES, ETC.
ARTICLE A. TRADE UNIONS.
SEC. 1. Laws AUTHORIZING TRADE UNIONS.—Nearly all the States have adopted statutes permitting the formation or incorporation of trades unions, and there is also a national statute', but the workingmen have hitherto taken advantage of them in the rarest possible instances. There are very few legally incorporated trade unions in this country, though there are many in England. The States having such acts are Massachusetts (1888, 134), New York, Pennsylvania (Dig. p. 2017), Michigan (1897, 13), Maryland (23, 37), Iowa (1091), Kansas (miners, 1899, 33), and Louisiana (1890, 50).
Special provision is made for the incorporation of assemblies of Knights of Labor (Mich. 1883, 159; Wyo. 589, 590, 599).
In Nebraska the lodges of Knights of Labor have apparently all been incorporated by general act without their expressed consent (Nebr. 1892, 1893):
No union has yet been incorporated under this law.
SEC. 2. TRADES UNIONS EXCEPTED FROM GENERAL STATUTES REGULATING CORPORATIONS, ETC.-A few States have statutes excepting trade unions from the regulation of other statutes. Thus, (1) from the statute concerning the organization and regulation of fraternal beneficiary societies (Kans. 1899, 23, 16; Mass. 1899, 468); (2) from all “antitrust” acts (see Chap. X, § 3).
1U. S., 1885–6, 567:
Incorporation of national trade unions. Sec. 1. The term “National Trade Union,” in the meaning of this act, shall signify any association of working people having two or more branches in the States or Territories of the United States for the purpose of aiding its members to become more skillful and efficient workers, the promotion of their general intelligence, the elevation of their character, the regulation of their wages and their hours and conditions of labor, the protection of their individual rights in the prosecution of their trade or trades, the raising of funds for the benefit of sick, disabled, or unemployed members, or the families of deceased members, or for such other object or objects for which working people may lawfully combine, having in view their mutual protection or benefit.
SEC. 2. National Trade Unions shall, upon filing their articles of incorporation in the office of the recorder of the District of Columbia, become a corporation under the technical name by which said National Trade Union desires to be known to the trade; and shall have the right to sue and to be sued, to implead and be impleaded, to grant and receive, in its corporate or technical name, property, real, personal, and mixed, and to use said property, and the proceeds and income thereof, for the objects of said corporation as in its charter defined: Provided, That each union may hold only so much real estate as may be required for the immediate purposes of its incorporation.
SEC. 3. An incorporated National Trade Union shall have power to make and establish such constitution, rules, and by-laws as it may deem proper to carry out its lawful objects, and the same to alter, amend, add to, or repeal at pleasure.
Sec. 4. An incorporated National Trade Union shall have power to define the duties and powers of all its officers, and prescribe their mode of election and term of office, to establish branches and subunions in any Territory of the United States.
Sec. 5. The headquarters of an incorporated National Trade Union shall be located in the District of Columbia.
SEC. 3. Laws REGULATING UNION LABOR.—
A statute has been almost universally adopted in New England and the Northern States prohibiting employers from discharging employees for belonging to or for joining labor unions, or from making it a condition of employment that they should not be members of such unions, and the blacklisting statutes are in part aimed at the same thing (see Chap. X, $ 1; Chap. II, Art. A, $ 2).
It must be stated that there is considerable doubt as to the constitutionality of such statutes, and the supreme court of Missouri has held them unconstitutional, while there are indications that such will be the holding of the higher courts of New York and other States. On the other hand, an Ohio court sustained the law; and an Illinois court has held that there is no constitutional objection to the vote of a municipality, or its executive board or officers, to employ solely union labor.
The States which have so far adopted such a statute are: Massachusetts (1894, 508, 3), Connecticut (1899, 170), New York (P. C. 171a), Pennsylvania (1897, 98), New Jersey (1894, 212), Ohio (1892, p. 269), Indiana (2302), Illinois (1893, p. 98), Wisconsin (4466b), Minnesota (1895, 172, and 174), Kansas (1897, 120), Missouri * (1893, p. 197), California (P. C. 679), Colorado (1897, 50), Idaho (1899, p. 314), Georgia (1893, 380). The Pennsylvania statute applies to corporation employees only.
1 Thus, in Massachusetts and Connecticut:
No person or corporation, or agent or officer on behalf of any person or corporation, shall coerce or compel any person or persons into an agreement, either written or verbal, not to join or become a member of any labor organization, as a condition of such person or persons securing employment or continuing in the employment of any such
person or corporation. In New York (P. C., § 171a, added by chapter 688, acts of 1887):
Any person or persons, employer or employers of labor, and any person or persons of any corporation or corporations on behalf of such corporation or corporations, who shall hereafter coerce or compel any person or persons, employee or employees, laborer or mechanic to enter into an agreement, either written or verbal from such person, persons, employee, laborer or mechanic, not to join or become a member of any labor organization, as a condition of such person or persons securing employment, or continuing in the employment of any such person or persons, employer or employers, corporation or corporations shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor. The penalty for such misdemeanor shall be imprisonment in a penal institution for not more than six months, or by a fine of not more than two hundred dollars, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
In Pennsylvania (1897, 98, § 1):
If any officer, agent or employee of any corporation chartered under the laws of this Commonwealth, or any foreign corporation doing business in this commonwealth, shall coerce or attempt to coerce any employee of such corporation by discharging them or threatening to discharge them from employment of such corporation because of their connection with any lawful labor organization which such employee may have formed, joined or belonged to, or if any such officer, agent, or employee shall exact from any applicant for employment in such corporation any promise or agreement not to form, join or belong to such lawful labor organization, or not to continue a member of such lawful labor organization, or if any such officer, agent or employee shall in any way prevent or endeavor to prevent any employee from forming, joining or belonging to such lawful labor organization, or shall interfere or attempt to interfere by any other means whatsoever, direct or indirect, with any employee's free and untrammeled connection with such lawful labor organization, be [he?] or they shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and on conviction thereof shall be liable to a fine of not more than two thousand nor less than one thousand dollars ($1,000), and imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year, or either, or both, in the discretion of the court.
And for the new Colorado statute, see (hap. II, Art. A, $ 2, above. * Held unconstitutional.
SEC. 4. UNION LABELS.—Nearly all the States have now adopted a statute allowing members of trade unions, or labor unions, or associated laborers, or (in Mass., N. J., Iowa, Colo., Tenn., Idaho, Okla., Wash., Mo., and La.) any other persons, association, or corporation, to adopt labels or trade-marks to be used solely to designate the products of their own labor, or of the labor of members of their own trade unions or labor unions in alliance with them.' In Massachusetts (1899, 359) there appears to be no limitation in the use of such label to goods actually made by the persons using it, but usually they must be made, packed, or sold by him. (This form of statute is made use of by the National Association of Consumers' League, a voluntary association of benevolent persons who agree to buy only goods which are made under sanitary and fair conditions.) Provision is usually made for the registration of such label or trade-mark with the secretary of state, a penalty imposed for counterfeiting it, and remedies by injunction or equity process given the laborers or other persons using the label against its infringement or unauthorized use.
Badges, etc. --A few States have statutes making penal the counterfeiting or wearing labor badges, or the using fraudulent credentials of labor unions at labor conventions, or representing nonexistent organizations at such conventions or meetings (N. Y. 1898, 671; Pa. 1897, 116).
Requirement of union label.-In Nevada and Montana, hy a recent statute, all State printing must bear the union label (Mor , 1897, p. 58; Nev. 1895, 63).
Sec. 5. NON-UNION LABOR. —Corresponding to the provisions of the above section, no States have statutes expressly protecting the rights of nonunion employees, but they are impliedly guarded in the statutes against intimidation (Chap. I, Art. F), and the statutes against boycotts (see Chap. IX, Art. B, $ 2).
ART. B. STRIKES, BOYCOTTS, PICKETS, ETC.
(See also above, Chap. I, Art. F, $ 2.) SEC. 1. LEGISLATION AS TO STRIKES.—A very few States have statutes expressly aimed at the regulation of strikes, though in some States the common law of conspiracy has been so modified as to seriously influence the treatment by the courts of combinations to strike. There is in Pennsylvania an express statute that "any laborers or employees acting either as individuals or as members of any union may refuse to work for any person whenever in their opinion the wages paid are insufficient or the treatment unjust or offensive, or the continued labor by them would be contrary to the rules of any union, etc., without subjecting such persons to prosecution for criminal conspiracy: Provided, That this shall not prevent the prosecution under any law other than conspiracy of any person who shall by the
1N. H. 1895, 42, 1-7; N. Y. G. L. 32, 15–16; N. J. 1898, 50; Mass. 1895, 462; Me. 1891, 14; 1893, 276; Conn. 1893, 162; Pa. 1895, 68; Ohio, 1890, Apr. 2; 1892, Mar. 30; 1894, May 1; Ind. 8693–8703; Ill. 140, 6–12; Mich. 1891, 41; Wis. 1891, 280; 1893, 14; 1895, 151; Iowa 1892, 36; Minn. 6917–6929; Kans. 1891, 213; Nebr. 3549–3553; Md. 1892, 357; Del. 68, 1-7; 1899, 266; Va. 1898, 33; Tenn. 1897, 107; Ky. 4749–4755; Mo. 8569–8576; Tex. 1895, 81; Cal. Pol. C. 3200–1; Wash. 1897, 47; Š. Dak. 1890, 153; Mont. P. C. 641-646; Ga. 1893, 380; La. 1898, 49; Colo. 1899, 154; Idaho 1899, p. 427; Okla 1897, 40.
use of force, threats, or menace of harm to person or property hinder persons who desire to labor from so doing, or conspire to commit a
The New York statute also expressly legalizes certain strikes: “A person who wilfully and maliciously, either alone or in combination with others, breaks a contract of service or hiring, knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that the probable consequence of his so doing will be to endanger human life, or to cause grievous bodily injury, or to expose valuable property to destruction or serious injury, is guilty of a misdemeanor,
but nothing in this code contained shall be so construed as to prevent any person from demanding an increase of wages, or from assembling and using all lawful means to induce employers to pay such wages to all persons employed by them, as shall be a just and fair compensation for services rendered
i The Pennsylvania law in full is as follows (Dig., pp. 484, 2017, 2019):
SEC. 72. It shall be lawful for any laborer or laborers, workingman or workingmen, journeyman or journeymen, acting either as individuals or as the member of any club, society or association, to refuse to work or labor for any person or persons, whenever, in his, her or their opinion, the wages paid are insufficient, or the treatment of such laborer or laborers, workingman or workingmen, journeyman or journeymen, by his, her or their employer is brutal or offensive, or the continued labor by such laborer or laborers, workingman or workingmen, journeyman or journeymen, would be contrary to the rules, regulations or by-laws of any club, society or organization to which he, she or they might belong, without subjecting any person or persons, so refusing to work or labor, to prosecution or indictment for conspiracy under the criminal laws of this Commonwealth: Provided, That this act shall not be held to apply to the member or members of any club, society or organization, the constitution, by-laws, rules and regulations of which are not in strict conformity to the constitution of the State of Pennsylvania, and to the Constitution of the United States: Provided, That nothing herein contained shall prevent the prosecution and punishment, under existing laws, of any person or persons who shall, in any way, hinder persons who desire to labor for their employers from so doing, or other persons from being employed as laborers.
Sec. 73. It shall be lawful for employees, acting either as individuals or collectively, or as the members of any club, assembly, association or organization, to refuse to work or labor for any person, persons, corporation or corporations, whenever in his, her or their opinion the wages paid are insufficient, or his, her or their treatment is offensive or unjust, or whenever the continued labor or work by him, her or them would be contrary to the constitution, rules, regulations, by-laws, resolution or resolutions of any club, assembly, association, organization or meeting of which he, she or they may be a member or may have attended, and as such individuals or members or as having attended any meeting, it shall be lawful for him, her or them to devise and adopt ways and means to make such rules, regulations, by-laws, resolution or resolutions effective, without subjecting them to indictment for Conspiracy at common law or under the criminal laws for this commonwealth:
Provided, first, That this act shall not be held to apply to the member or members of any club, assembly, association, organization or meeting, the constitution, rules, regulations, by-laws, resolution or resolutions of which are not in conformity with the constitution of the United States, and to the constitution of this Commonwealth:
Provided, second, That nothing herein contained shall prevent the prosecution and punishment, under any law, other than that of conspiracy, of any person or persons who shall, by the use of force, threats or menace of harm to person or property, hinder or attempt to hinder any person or persons who may desire to labor or work for any employer from so doing for such wages and upon such terms and conditions as he, she or they may deem proper:
And provided, third, That nothing herein contained shall prevent the prosecution and punishment of any persons conspiring to commit a felony.
SEC. 3. The second proviso in * section (2 abovej * shall be so construed that the use of lawful or peaceful means, having for their object a lawful purpose, shall not be regarded as "in any way hindering” persons who desire to labor; and that the use of force, threat or menace of harm to persons or property, shall alone be regarded as in any way hindering persons who desire to labor for their employers from so doing, or other persons from being employed as laborers.
(N. Y. P. C. 673, 675). And also in New York, Minnesota, Mississippi, North and South Dakota, Montana, and Oklahoma the common law of conspiracy is repealed, and If two or more persons conspire, either (N. Y. P. C. 168; Minn. 6423; Miss. 1006; N. Dak. 7037);
To prevent another from exercising a lawful trade or calling, or doing any other lawful act, by force, threats, intimidation, or by interfering or threatening to interfere with tools, implements, or property belonging to or used by another, or with the use or employment thereof, or (N. Y., Minn., N. Dak., S. Dak. 6425, Okla. 2061, Mont. P. C. 320 Miss.),
To commit any act injurious to the public health, to public morals, or to trade or commerce, or for the perversion or obstruction of justice, or of the due administration of the laws
Each of them is guilty of misdemeanor; and (N. Y. P. C. 170, Minn. 6424, Mont. P. C. 322, N. Dak. 7039)
No conspiracy is punishable criminally unless it is one of those enumerated in the last section, and the orderly and peaceable assembling or cooperation of persons employed in any calling, trade, or handicraft, for the purpose of obtaining an advance in the rate of wages or compensation, or of maintaining such vote is not a conspiracy.
And also in Minnesota (6425) and South Dakota (6427) and Oklahoma (2063) and Montana (P. C. 323):
No agreement except to commit a felony upon the person of another, or to commit arson or burglary amounts to a conspiracy, unless some act beside such agreement be done to effect the object thereof, by one or more of the parties to such agreement.
In New Jersey (Sup. p. 774):
It shall not be unlawful for any two or more persons to unite, combine or bind themselves by oath, covenant, agreement, alliance or otherwise, to persuade, advise or encourage, by peaceable means, any person or persons to enter into any combination for or against leaving or entering into the employment of any person, persons or corporation; and also (Rev. p. 261, § 191, as amended by $ 9, p. 1296, Revision of 1877, and 43, p. 199, Sup. of 1886):
If two or more persons shall combine, unite, confederate, conspire, or bind themselves by oath, covenant, agreement or other alliance to commit any crime, * or to cheat and defraud any person of any property by any means which are in themselves criminal, or to cheat and defraud any person of any property by any means which, if executed, would amount to a cheat,
or to commit any act for the perversion or obstruction of justice, or the due administration of the laws, they shall, on conviction, be deemed guilty of a conspiracy, and shall be punished by imprisonment at hard labor not exceeding two years, or by a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars, or both; but no agreement to commit any crime other than murder, manslaughter, sodomy, rape, arson, burglary or robbery, shall be deemed a conspiracy, unless some act in execution of such agreement be done to effect the object thereof by one or more of the parties to such agreement. Provided, That nothing in this section shall be construed to apply to any person or persons lawfully and by peaceful means persuading, advising or encouraging other persons to enter into any combination for or against leaving or entering into the yment of other persons.
In Illinois (38, 158) :
If any two or more persons shall combine for the purpose of depriving the owner or possessor of property of its lawful use and management, or of preventing, by threats, suggestions of danger, or any unlawful means, any person from being employed by or obtaining employment from any such owner or possessor of property, on such terms as the parties concerned may agree upon, such persons so offending shall be fined not exceeding $500, or confined in the county jail not exceeding six months.
In Minnesota ($ 6815) :
A person who willfully and wrongfully commits any act which seriously injures the person or property of another, or which seriously disturbs or endangers the pub