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In 1886 Massachusetts and New York established state boards of arbitration.
A statute of the United States, enacted in 1888, provided for the settlement of controversies between railroads and their employees through the services of special temporary tribunals known as "boards of arbitration or commission." To form a board of arbitration each party in interest chose a member, and the two members chose a third for chairman; but when the commission was formed the President of the United States appointed two members to act with the Commissioner of Labor, who was chairman ex officio. Such a commission in 1894, reporting on the Chicago Strike, recommended changes in the law, and suggested to the states "the adoption of some system of conciliation and arbitration like that in use in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts." In 1898 the law was repealed, its essential provisions were re-enacted and procedure was specified with greater elaboration. The statute of 1898 requires the Chairman of the Interstate Commerce Commission and the Commissioner of Labor to mediate in one way or another between the parties with a view to inducing them either to terminate their controversy by agreement or to refer it to the board of arbitration. The board of arbitration, as under the former act, is constituted in the usual way; but when five days elapse without choice of a third member, the
duty of making such a choice devolves upon the two mediators above mentioned.
Twenty-four states in the union have thus far made constitutional or statutory provision for mediation of one kind or another in the settlement of industrial disputes. Of these the statutes of the following seventeen contemplate the administration of conciliation and arbitration laws through permanent state boards: Massachusetts, New York, Montana, Michigan, California, New Jersey, Ohio, Louisiana, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Connecticut, Illinois, Utah, Indiana, Idaho, Colorado and Kansas.
The constitution of Wyoming directs the legislature to establish courts of arbitration to determine all differences between associations of laborers and their employers, and provides for appeals to the supreme court of the state from the decisions of compulsory boards of arbitration.
Kansas was the first state to enact compulsory arbitration in creating the court of visitation in 1898. In the following year a federal court declared the enactments an attempt to confer inconsistent legislative and judicial powers upon the same body, concerning the same subject matter, and decided that the statutes were violative of the state constitution and wholly void, or void in part; but deemed it unnecessary to determine whether that body might still have and exercise the legislative and administrative powers contemplated. The power to settle strikes in the way prescribed was not considered. (See Appendix to our fourteenth annual report.) In 1900 the supreme court of Kansas (State v. Johnson) annulled the act which created the court of visitation, for the reason that the legislative, judicial and administrative functions were commingled and interwoven together
in a manner violative of the constitutional requirement that the three great departments of government shall be kept separate, and the powers and duties of each exercised independently of the others. The chief justice
The laws of Kansas, Iowa, Pennsylvania and Texas authorize the law courts to appoint tribunals of voluntary arbitration; and such is the law of Maryland also, which, moreover, empowers the Board of Public Works to investigate industrial controversies when the employer is a corporation, indebted to, or incorporated by, that state; to propose arbitration to the opposing parties, and if the proposition is accepted, to provide in due form for referring the case; but if either party refuse to submit to arbitration, it becomes the duty of the Board of Public Works to ascertain the cause of the controversy and report the same to the next legislature.
The law of Missouri authorizes the Commissioner of Labor Statistics to form local boards of arbitration, and, as in North Dakota, to mediate between employer and employed, if requested to do so by either, whenever a difference exists which results or threatens to result in a strike or lockout. In Nebraska it is. the duty of such officer to examine into the causes of strikes and lockouts.
Following are laws, etc., relating to mediation in industrial controversies:
[Public Laws, 1898.]
Chap. 370.— An Act Concerning carriers engaged in interstate commerce and their employees.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the provisions of this Act shall apply to any common carrier or carriers and their officers, agents, and employees, except masters of vessels and seamen, as defined in section forty-six hundred and twelve, Revised Statutes of the United States, engaged in the transportation of passengers or property wholly by railroad, or partly by railroad and partly by water, for a continuous carriage or shipment, from one State or Territory of the United States, or the District of Columbia, to any other State or Territory of the United States, or the District of Columbia, or from any place in the United States to an adjacent foreign country, or from any place in the United States through a foreign country to any other place in the United States.
The term "railroad" as used in this Act shall include all bridges and ferries used or operated in connection with any railroad, and also all the road in use by any corporation operating a railroad, whether owned or operated under a contract, agreement, or lease; and the term "transportation" shall include all instrumentalities of shipment or carriage.
The term "employees" as used in this Act shall include all persons actually engaged in any capacity in train operation or train service of any description, and notwithstanding that the cars upon or in which they are employed may be held and operated by the carrier under lease or other contract: Provided, however, That this Act shall not be held to apply to employees of street railroads and shall apply only to employees engaged in railroad train service. In every such case the carrier shall be responsible for the acts and defaults of such employees in the same manner and to the same extent as if said cars were owned by it and said employees directly employed by it, and any provisions to the contrary of any such lease or other contract shall be binding only as between the parties thereto and shall not affect the obligations of said carrier either to the public or to the private parties concerned.
SEC. 2. Whenever a controversy concerning wages, hours of labor, or conditions of employment shall arise between a car