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wrongful, is capable of putting moral compulsion on the person threatened! A specially constituted court of the queen's bench division, proceeding on the intention of Parliament, as shown in the Trade Union Act of 1871, as well as in the act of 1875, has
pronounced the first of these interpretations to be the correct one.
It is to be regretted that (notwithstanding express warning uttered by members of Parliament learned in the law when the bill was in commitee) the language of the act of 1875 was left uncertain.
It is only necessary in this connection to call attention to one other case to show that the judicial interpretation of the section depends, and probably will continue to depend, very largely upon the personal view of the interpreter. In January, 1891, the recorder of Plymouth (Mr. Bompas, Q. C.) delivered a decision which caused the widest comment. Treleaven, an employer, had a dispute with his union men, whose leaders issued this notice: "Inasmuch as Mr. Treleaven still insists on employing nonunion men, we, your officials, call upon all union men to leave their work. Use no violence, use no immoderate language, but quietly cease to work, and go home.” The question before the recorder was whether this was intimidation within the meaning of the act. The recorder held that it was intimidation, on the ground that it was a strike not to benefit the workmen, but to injure the master. He held that a strike to benefit workmen was a legal combination, but that a strike to injure an employer was an illegal combination. The case was carried to the court of appeal and there reversed, the judges holding that “intimidation" must be contined to the use of violence to the person or to actual damage done to property; a contingent injury to the business of an employer did not, in their opinion, come within the scope of intimidation.
There are two other cases second only to that of Allen v. Flood which may be briefly noticed. At the Belfast summer assizes, July, 1896, Leathem, a Lisburn merchant, brought suit (Leathem v. Craig) against certain members of the Journeymen Butchers' and Assistants' Association to recover damages for maliciously and wrongfully enticing and procuring persons, workmen in the employment of the plaintiff, to break contracts into which they had entered, and not to enter into other contracts with him, with intent to injure the plaintiff, and intimidating and coercing certain persons to break contracts with the plaintiff. The defense was a traverse of the acts complained of, and that they were not unlawful. The trial was before Lord Justice Fitzgibbon and a special jury, which found for the plaintiff and awarded damages against the defendants. Judgment, however, was reserved until after the lords' decision in Allen v. Flood, when it was entered in favor of the plaintiff. An appeal was taken to the Irish queen's bench division and upheld by a divided court, the lord chief baron alone expressing the opinion that Allen v. Flood had decided the prinçiple otherwise. As a matter of fact, the latter case did not determine
whether to persuade a person to break his contract is wrongful in law. In Leathem v. Craig the question was whether a conspiracy had been entered into. The lord chief baron held that, following the dictum in Allen v. Flood, the conspiracy was not criminal, but the court held that "the action complained of was a wreaking of vengeance on the plaintiff,” and, as such, not in the same category as Allen 2. Flood. In Leathem v. Craig the question was whether there was a conspiracy against the employer. From the decision of the queen's bench an appeal was taken to the court of appeal, the appeal being argued before the lord chancellor, the master of the rolls, and Lord Justices Walker and Holmes. The verdicts of the courts below were upheld.
The other case referred to is that of Lyons v. Wilkins, also regarded as of very great importance. The plaintiffs having become involved in a dispute with their workmen their premises were picketed in the usual manner. They applied for an interlocutory injunction to restrain the defendants from watching or besetting except for the purpose of obtaining or communicating information. This injunction was granted by Mr. Justice North and made perpetual by Mr. Justice Byrne in the chancery division of the bigh court of justice. An appeal was taken to the court of appeal and came on for hearing before the master of the rolls and Lord Justices Chitty and Vaughan Williams. Judgment was given upholding the original decision. In the course of his judgment the master of the rolls said:
The truth was that to watch or beset a man's house with a view to compel him to do or not to do what it was lawful for him to do was wrongful and without lawful authority, unless some reasonable justification for it was consistent with the evidence. Such conduct interfered with the ordinary comfort of human existence and the ordinary enjoyment of the house beset, and would support an action for nuisance at common law; and proof that the nuisance was for the purpose of peacefully persuading other people would afford no defense to such action. Persons might be peacefully persuaded, provided that the method employed to persuade was not a nuisance to other people.
It was all very well to talk about peaceable persuasion, and to draw fine lines between persuasion and giving information. The line might be fine; but in this case there was no difficulty whatever in coming to the conclusion that what was done was watching and besetting, as distinguished from attending in order merely to obtain or communicate information.
What effect the passage of the law of 1875 has had in improving the relations between capital and labor is a question so difficult of exact determination, or of mathematical demonstration, that it can only be answered in the most cautious manner and by inference rather than by direct statement. Despite the frequent reference which has been made in this article to litigation-which, perhaps, is always the natural corollary of any legislative action or a complete change from the old established order-and the admitted discontent with some of the phases of the law, that these relations have been improved must be conceded, and the acknowledgment is frankly made by the representatives of both capital and labor. One of the chief causes for this improvement is the power given to the workmen to do in combination that which they were before permitted to do as individuals only. That permission has removed one source of friction; it has with exactness limited the rights of the men, and there has been no attempt on the part of employers to interfere with this legal right. On the other hand, section 7, as judicially interpreted, enables the employers to prevent intimidation, or coercion, or interference with the carrying on of their business in their own way, and when an attempt is made to interfere with them a ready means is provided for obtaining relief. Perhaps the answer to the question as to the effect of the law on the relations between capital and labor can be best given in the words of two men, one entitled to speak as the representative of federated capital, the other as the representative of federated labor. The representative of capital said:
We are satisfied with the law. We would not change it if we could, except to make clearer the definition of intimidation and coercion. Before the law came into effect we were harassed by picketing and setting, and it was extremely difficult to secure a conviction. Now, we are far less troubled by these forms of violence, and when it becomes necessary to appeal to the protection of the law it is quickly given us and where the case is a just one we can rely on securing a conviction. But there is another reason why we think the law is a good thing and why it is mutually advantageous, both to capital and labor. Prior to 1875 the relations between masters and men were vague, indefinite, barbaric, archaic. The men were denied the right to improve their condition, to obtain an increase of wages, to reduce their hours of labor; I mean they were denied the right to attempt to do these things by peaceful means, a right which certainly belonged to them. These restrictions have been removed. We are often, I admit, dictated to by trade unions, often severe and burdensome restrictions are imposed upon us in the conduct of our business; still, I concede that the men have a right to try and obtain an amelioration of their condition provided they do not resort to illegal methods. Nor can it be denied that what we now recognize as legitimate was in the old days regarded as illegal; prosecutions were frequently instituted on frivolous grounds. The law has removed this cause of complaint. It has brought the relations between capital and labor into greater harmony. These relations are not yet perfect; but they are better than they were.
From the standpoint of the representative of labor the following:
Speaking broadly, I have no hesitation in saying that the relations between capital and labor are better to-day than they were 25 years
I do not attribute all of this improvement to the passage of the law of 1875. I attribute part of that improvement to the law of that year, part to the better understanding which now exists between employer and employed, to the recognition that both have equal rights, to the recognition that both are mutually dependent on each other, that nothing can be to the advantage of the one without being to the advantage of the other, and, conversely, if one side is dissatisfied the other is sure to be, with the results that the consequences are injurious to both. Referring more directly to the law of 1875, its advantages to labor have been these: It has permitted us to do in combination what we were permitted to do as individuals, but which we were prohibited from doing in association before that law came into effect; it has more particularly established our rights; it has given us certain privileges and restrictions, and at the same time has laid equal privileges and restrictions upon employers; it has made us feel that we are not in a class by ourselves but stand equal in the eye of the law with other men, which has had the effect of removing much of the bitterness, much of the feeling of injustice and inequality which formerly existed between capital and labor. The law is not to be regarded as perfect. It has not quite fulfilled all of our expectations. The courts, in the opinion of labor, have been too prone to construe the law in favor of capital. Some of the convictions under section 7 we regard as unwarranted by the law and the facts. The decision in Allen v. Flood was a great victory for us, but the limitation of the power to picket, the restrictions which are imposed upon us, the restraint under which we are held, the fact that we can only do certain negative things, and have no power to act affirmatively, have weakened instead of strengthened us when we are engaged in a conflict with capital. We should like to see the law amended; its amendment has often been discussed by us, but I am frank to say I do not see any prospect of the law being modified to make it more acceptable to the workmen. Still if the question were put to a vote, if we were asked whether we would have the law repealed or let it stand as it now is, faulty although we know it to be, I have no hesitation in saying that a majority of the intelligent workmen of Great Britain would vote in favor of the law being retained on the statute books.
RECENT REPORTS OF STATE BUREAUS OF LABOR STATISTICS.
Fifteenth Annual Report of the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the State
of Connecticut, for the year ending September 30, 1899. Harry E. Back, Commissioner. 266 pp.
The following are the contents of this report: Introduction, 8 pages; private and municipal ownership of electric light and power plants, gasworks, and waterworks, 74 pages; condition of manufactures, 46 pages: free employment offices, 36 pages; Connecticut labor organizations, 35 pages; labor laws of Connecticut, 56 pages.
ELECTRIC LIGHT AND POWER PLANTS, GASWORKS, AND WATERWORKS.- This chapter contains that portion of the report of the United States Department of Labor which relates to private and municipal ownership of the gas, water, and electric-light plants in the State.
CONDITION OF MANUFACTURES. - Statistics are given showing by industries, for each of 668 identical establishments, the number of persons employed on July 1 of each of the years 1896, 1897, 1898, and 1899; the amount of wages paid during each of the years ending July 1, 1896, to 1899, inclusive, and the percentage of increase or decrease in the number employed and in the amount of wages paid during this period. The following tables give a summary of the data:
PERSONS EMPLOYED IN MANUFACTURING ESTABLISHMENTS, BY INDUSTRIES, 1896 TO 1899.
Brass and brass goods ..
9 43 11
7 16 25 10 16 37 37 92
613 4, 425 12,790 8,658 2,475 2,890 3,762
479 9, 121
590 2, 404 3, 222
366 3,807 3,684
879 1,765 5, 152 3,704
601 4,632 13,018 7, 775 2, 442 2,678 3,529
702 2, 259 3,739
394 3,980 3,575
882 1,889 5, 303 3,762
613 4,738 13, 472 8, 224 2, 483 2, 815 3, 997
509 8, 492
754 2, 303 3,760
325 4,613 3, 780
958 1,919 5, 303 3, 677
699 4, 840 13, 582 9, 912 2,619 3, 121 4,910
918 2, 326 3,859
332 5,097 4, 319
706 1,161 2,129 5, 279 4,136
26.4 14.0 9.4 6.2 14.5 5.8 8.0 30.5 15.0
8.5 55.6 a 3.2 19.8 a 9.3 33.9 17.2 a 5.2 32.1 20.6