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young girl, or woman shall be employed in a factory where permanent injury to their health is likely.
No young girl shall be allowed to clean any part of the machinery in a factory when in motion by the aid of steam, water, or other mechanical power. No young girl or woman is to clean any part of the machinery as is mill gearing when in motion for the purpose of propelling any part of the manufacturing machinery. No young girl shall be allowed to work between the fixed and traversing parts of any self-acting machine while in motion by action of such power.
In general, the provisions regarding the duration of labor are more rigid in Manitoba than in either Ontario or Quebec. It is provided that no young girl nor woman shall be employed for more than 8 hours in any 1 day, nor more than 48 hours in any 1 week. The noon hour is secured, as in the case of the Ontario act. The circumstances under which exemptions may be granted are exactly as in Ontario. The limitations where the exemption is granted are also the same, except that the total number of hours in 1 day is limited, as in Quebec, to 10 hours and to 60 hours in 1 week, and must not commence before 6 o'clock in the morning nor end after 9 o'clock at night.
The Manitoba act follows the Ontario act also in the provision that if the inspector so directs in writing the employer shall not allow any young girl or woman to take meals in any room wherein any manufacturing process is then being carried on; and if the inspector so directs in writing the employer shall at his own expense provide a suitable room or place in the factory or in connection therewith for the purpose of a dining and eating room for persons employed in the factory.
In the Manitoba act special provision is made for registration in case work is sublet or allowed to be done outside the factory. It is vided that:
Every employer carrying on business within the meaning of this act who shall sublet any contract or give out any materials to be made, altered, repaired or finished at any other place than at the factory registered under this act, shall keep a register of all such work given out and the location of the premises where the work is to be performed. Such register is subject to the inspection of the inspector at all times, and he shall as far as possible see that such work is performed under sanitary conditions.
Special provision is also made that a factory shall not be kept open or employ any person in or upon the premises on a legal or statutory holiday nor on Labor Day without the permission of the inspector.
The enforcement of the act is intrusted to inspectors having the usual powers and duties.
proTHE BRITISH CONSPIRACY AND PROTECTION OF PROPERTY
ACT AND ITS OPERATION.
BY A. MAURICE LOW.
In the November, 1899, Bulletin of the Department of Labor a lucid presentation was made, by Mr. Willoughby, of the Trade Union Act (Great Britain) of 1871 and its amendment of 1876, and the Conspiracy and Protection of Property Act of 1875. The aim of the present article is to show the effect of the last-named act and what its influence, if any, has been on the relations between capital and labor.
Mr. Willoughby gave a succinct account of the history of labor legislation in the United Kisydom since the beginning of the century. It is not necessary, therefore, in the present article to go into that subject at any length, but merely to trace the causes which brought about the passage of the Conspiracy and Protection of Property Act, 1875 (38 and 39 Vict., C. 86), and in no better way can this be done than to quote from the report made by Mr. John Burnett (u), of the Board of Trade. Mr. Burnett says:
Within the last 20 years the laws relating to strikes have been much modified and a considerable amount of pains has been taken to detine accurately the things which men on strike may do and those they may not do. Stated simply as an abstract proposition that workmen may now go on strike and have full liberty to do what they please as long as they do not encroach upon the liberty of others, workingmen, as a rule, would perfectly agree with it and admit its justice. To draw the line is, however, by no means so easy, and the difficulty is to decide exactly how far a man may go without crossing the line which separates his right from that of another. The practical question really to be decided is, How far may a workman on strike go in his efforts to keep another man from taking his place in the situation he has vacated. Perhaps the most common of all features in strikes is that when the workmen are out the employers endeavor to obtain other men to fill their places. If efficient men in sufficient numbers can be obtained to replace the strikers it is obvious that the dispute must come to a speedy termination in favor of the employers. It is, therefore, the object of those on strike to prevent other workmen taking their places. How far may they go in this direction has been the much-debated question of recent years, and as yet there has been fixed no absolutely clear and unmistakable limit, and conflicting decisions are sometimes given under the existing law. To make plain the existing situation on this point,
a Report on the Strikes and Lockouts of 1888, by the labor correspondent of the Board of Trade
it may be as well to give a brief summary of the course that legislation has taken on the subject.
Previous to 1824 strikes of any magnitude or duration were almost impossible, as all attempts at organization for such a purpose were prevented as far as ever possible by the law against combination then in force. The great labor disputes which took place previous to that time, and indeed for many years after, were rather outbreaks of actual industrial revolt against grievances become intolerable than deliberately arranged and skillfully organized movements for bringing about changes in existing conditions.
There were then very few disputes during which the leaders of the men were not sent to prison, and in which there were not committed some acts of violence against property or persons.
The combination laws in operation from 1799 to the time of their repeal in 1825 were very stringent in their character, and a brief summary of a few of their provisions and penalties will show how workmen on strike might be dealt with. The preamble of the act of 1799 (39 Geo. III, c. 8) strikes the keynote of the industrial legislation of that period. It says: “Whereas great numbers of journeymen manufacturers and workmen in various parts of this Kingdom have by unlawful meetings and combinations endeavored to obtain advance of their wages and to effectuate other illegal purposes; and the laws at present in force against such unlawful conduct have been found to be inadequate to the suppression thereof, whereby it is become necessary that more effectual provision should be made against such unlawful combinations, and for preventing such unlawful practices in the future and for bringing such offenders to more speedy and exemplary justice.”
The act then goes on to declare null and void all agreements “between journeymen manufacturers or workmen” for obtaining an advance of wages or for lessening or altering their hours of labor, and for various other stated purposes. Workmen entering into any such agreement were, upon conviction before a magistrate, to be committed to jail for 3 months or to the house of correction for 2 months with hard labor. The same punishment was also to be awarded to any journeymen or workmen who entered into any combination to “obtain an advance of wages, lessen or alter the hours of work, decrease the quantity of work, or who by giving money or by persuasion, solicitation, or intimidation endeavor to prevent any unhired or unemployed journeyman or other person wanting employment from hiring himself to any manufacturer or tradesman; or who should, for any purpose contrary to the provisions of the act, directly or indirectly, decoy, persuade, solicit, intimidate, influence, or prevail
, or attempt to prevail on any journeyman hired or to be hired to quit or leave his work, service, or employment, or who should hinder or prevent, or attempt to hinder or prevent, any employer from biring such workman as he might think proper, or who (being hired or employed) should refuse to work with any other journeymen employed therein.” Like penalties were enacted for those who attended meetings held for making agreements rendered unlawful by the act, or who should pay money in support of such a meeting, or collect money from other persons, or by any means induce other persons to attend such a meeting: Nor might anyone contribute to the support of persons who had quitted work. Any sums so collected were forfeit one-half to the King and one-half to the informer,
A subsequent act (40 Geo. III, C. 60) somewhat qualified these stringent provisions, but only by inserting such words falsely and maliciously” before the various prohibited acts. It will thus be seen that the work of attempting in any way to better his condition was rendered extremely hazardous to the workman. It was even an offense to assist in maintaining men on strike. Stringent as was this legislation, however, it failed in its object; secret societies began to multiply, and trade disputes took place in spite of the law, if not, indeed, by reason of it.
THE ACTS OF 1824 AND 1825.
In 1824 an act was passed “to repeal the laws relative to combinations of workmen,” which repealed many acts and parts of acts dating back as far as the reign of Edward I. The passage of this act was marked by numerous strikes and labor disputes, and in the following year Parliament appointed a committee to inquire further into the subject. As a result of this investigation the act of 1825 was passed, one of its most important provisions being that it should not be held unlawful for persons to meet “for the purpose of consulting upon and determining the rate of wages or prices which the persons present at such meeting should demand for their work.” But the interpretation of the law was left to the courts, and the judges soon declared labor combinations to be unlawful at common law on the ground that they were in restraint of trade. This led to further agitation and the passage in 1859 (22 Vict., c. 3t) of a law which enacted that workmen were not to be held guilty of “molestation” or “obstruction,” under the act of 1825, simply for entering into agreements to fix the rate of wages or the hours of labor, or to endeavor peaceably to persuade others to cease or abstain from work to produce the same results. Here again the decisions of the courts gave the law an effect which was unsatisfactory to its creators, and in 1867 a commission was appointed to inquire and report on the subject. The result of this investigation brought forth two acts in 1871—the Trade Union Act and the Criminal Law Amendment Act, the latter repealing the acts of 1825 and 1859. This new act made stringent provisions, both as against masters and men, to prevent coercion, violence, threats, following, molestation, and obstruction, but there was no prohibition against doing or conspiring to do any act on the ground that it was in restraint of trade, unless it came within the scope of the enumerated prohibitions.
FURTHER LEGISLATION DEMANDED. The foregoing has given a concise account of labor legislation down to the year 1871. An event which happened in the following year showed that a further change in the laws was necessary to suit modern conditions. To again quote Mr. Burnett's report:
It was now thought that strikes as ordinarily conducted were legal and safe, provided the limits here set forth were not exceeded, and it
was certainly assumed that men on strike were not now liable to prosecution for criminal conspiracy. In the following year, however, this opinion was disturbed by a decision given by Justice Brett at the Old Bailey. The gas stokers at the Beckton gas works came out on strike under circumstances which rendered them liable for breach of contract, for which they might under the statute have been sentenced to 3 months' imprisonment.
The sudden stoppage of work had caused a large part of London to be kept in darkness for some nights. The men were indicted for conspiracy, and the judge held that there had been such a conspiracy, and that a threat of simultaneous breach of contract by the men was conduct which the jury ought to regard as a conspiracy to prevent the gas company carrying on its business. The defendants were sentenced to 12 months' imprisonment. The severity of the sentence, however, caused a great deal of agitation in the country, a special fund was raised to support the wives and families of the men convicted, and eventually a remission of 8 months of their punishment was obtained. The feeling thus raised resulted in the appointment of another commission, which reported in favor of further alterations in the law.
In 1875 Mr. R. A. Cross, the home secretary, introduced his conspiracy and protection of property act, which received the royal assent on the 13th of August of that year. While general in its scope and intended to further liberalize the rights of workmen, the animating cause of the act was the decision in the case of the stokers of the Beckton gas works and the desire to substitute for the drastic penalties of conspiracy a milder punishment. In the course of his speech on the first reading of the bill Mr. Cross said:
There is another exposition of the law which was given by a right honorable and learned gentleman for whom we all have the highest respect. I mean the recorder of London (Mr. Russell Gurney), and there can not, in my opinion, be any clearer exposition of the law of 1871 than he laid down to the grand jury in the case of five men who were sent to prison. The right honorable and learned gentleman said: “Among the acts forbidden by that act was this: The molesting or obstructing any person by watching or besetting any place, or the approach to such place where his business was carried on, with the view to coerce such person to alter his mode of carrying on his business. That, then, was the question the jury would have to consider--whether the evidence laid before them was sufficient to establish a prima facie case that the defendants did conspire to molest or obstruct the prosecutors by watching or besetting their place of business, in order to coerce them to alter their mode of carrying on their business. And there the grand jury must observe a distinction. The question was not whether they had endeavored to cause them to alter their mode by themselves refusing to work, or by persuading others not to work. That they had a right to do, but the question was whether they agreed to effect their object in the way forbidden by the act. That they did watch the place of business there would probably be no doubt, but there were some purposes for which they had a perfect right to watch. When a contest of that sort was going on it was not unusual, he believed, to watch in order to see that none of the men who received what was