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CONSPIRACY TO INJURE NOT INDICTABLE. sympathetic or otherwise, in this state of the court
sustains the bill in this case." We are also told, A decision of great importance to labor
by counsel, that it rests upon the members of has just been made by the supreme court this court to decide whether labor and capital of North Carolina. The case at bar was
* * * shall dwell together in peace and unity, known as State vs. Van Pelt, No. 345. It
controlled by the law, etc. It is desirable that this
condition, which has always so happily prevailed had its origin in Salisbury, where the labor
in this state, shall be preserved. We are duly sen. unions made a demand upon a lumber mer sible of our duty as judges, to so declare the law chant that he refrain from employing other as to secure, as far as the law may, this condition. than union labor, under pain of being con
As we have endeavored to show, concerted action
and association to protect common interests and sidered out of sympathy with organized
promote common advantage is not peculiar to labor. Van Pelt and others put the mer
those whose capital consists in their labor. The chant on the unfair list. For this they were security of the state demands that the same prinindicted for conspiracy to break up and de- ciples of law must apply to all sorts and condi
tions of men. It is well to consider how far lib. stroy the business of the lumber merchant
erty of thought and action may be restricted by a upon whom the demand above mentioned
resort to the “loose expressions" and danger. had been made.
ously uncertain definitions of this crime affecting The indictment was quashed by the lower the liberty of the citizen.
It is very doubtful whether industrial condi. court, but an appeal was taken. The su
tions, or relations between employer and em. preme court unanimously affirmed the rul
ployes, have been improved by prosecutions for ing of the lower body. It held that “a con criminal conspiracy. As we have seen, in Eng. spiracy to injure one's business is not per se land the subject has received the most careful indictable; it is only when the means used
attention of enlightened statesmen, resulting in
the passage of wise statutes. It is asked: May to accomplish that end are unlawful that
not a man conduct his business in his own way? it becomes so." The ruling is extremely Undoubtedly he may. For any unlawful interlengthy, and recites the decisions in similar
ference with this right he has a remedy, either
civil or criminal, as such interference may justify. cases, as well as the law authorities on the
The question is asked: May not men organize to points at issue. THE JOURNAL reproduces a promote their common interests, and when such portion of Justice Connors' closing words, interests conflict with other interests, resort to which mark the clearness of his reasoning :
lawful and peaceful means to secure the best re.
sults? It is clear that they may. Where, then, Without undertaking to mark the limitations of is the line which separates conduct which is lawexceptions to the general principle we are of the ful from that which is unlawful? The answer opinion that the defendant's conduct was not un comes from Chief Justice Shaw, one of the wisest lawful. That the motive prompting them does and most learned of American jurists. "If it is not change or affect its legal quality. It is not to be carried into effect by fair, or honorable, or to be doubted that many acts which subject a lawful means, it is, to say the least, innocent. If party to a civil action without regard to the mo. by falsehood or force, it may be stamped with the tive with which they are committed, are indicta. character of a criminal conspiracy." We would ble either by the common law or by statute by not be misunderstood. Capital, either in the form reason of the motive which prompt them. To kill of money or other property, or in the form of a man's horse is actionable to do so maliciously skill, experience, intelligence and strength, may is indictable. The act itself is a legal injury. combine, for lawful purpose. When in either The statute makes it a crime when malice is the form, or under whatever guise, it seeks or conmoving cause. Many other instances readily oc- spires to effectuate its purpose, however lawful, cur to the mind. We think that it will be found by means of violence to person or property or by that in every case where the act is criminal, there fraud-or other criminal means or when, by is a trespass on some legal right, or a legal such means, it conspires to prevent any person wrong done to the complaining person. We con from conducting his own business in his own way, cur with his honor that no criminal act is or from employing such persons as he may precharged in the indictment. We have not over- fer, or by preventing any person from being emlooked the cases cited in the briefs. The courts ployed at such wages or upon such terms as he are very far from agreement in regard to the law may prefer, the courts will be prompt to declare of conspiracy. This fact tends to show the dan- and firm to administer the law to punish the ger of giving to the word “unlawful” a broad guilty and protect the injured. What acts will and all-embracing meaning in the definition of constitute such unlawful means, it is impossible a criminal conspiracy. We are told this is a case to define. As all other questions arising out 01 of great importance. It is said: “We are now at the struggle of political, social or industrial forces, the parting of the ways. It is safe to predict that they must be decided as they are presented. there will be no more criminal conspiracies, no We have refrained from using terms having a more demands for union shops and no strikes popular but as yet indefinite legal meaning. The word "boycott," by reason of the circumstances
WHICH PRECEDENT GOVERNS ? under which it originated and the extent to which the means used to accomplish the purpose of the
A recent decision of the state court of parties engaged in it were carried, is commonly appeals of New York declared the day lasupposed to involve unlawful means. The word bor law of that state unconstitutional. The is defined in Black's Law Dictionary, page 150, as
law prohibited a contractor from working follows: “In criminal law. A conspiracy formed and intended directly or indirectly to prevent the
his help more than eight hours a day on carrying on of any lawful business, or to injure city, county or state work. The decision the business of any one by wrongfully preventing was rendered in an action brought by a those who would be customers from buying any.
contractor to compel the city of New York thing from or employing the representatives of said business by threats, intimidation, or other
to pay for six scows made by the former forcible means.” In Brace vs. Evans, 3d R. Y. for the New York street cleaning departCorp. Law J. 561, it is said: “The word in itself ment. The city refused to pay the conimplies a threat; in popular acceptation it is an
tractor, as he had violated his contract by organized effort to exclude a person from business relations with others by persuasion, intimidation
working his employes over eight hours per and other acts which tend to violence and have day. The five judges who agreed upon coerced him through fear of his own injury to the decision were not unanimous in their submit to dictation in the management of his af.
reasons for rendering it, three members of fairs.” In Matthews vs. Shanland, 56 N. Y. Sup., the term is held to come within the statutory defi
the bench maintaining that the law deprived nition of an “unlawful conspiracy." For history a person of property without due process of the word and definition as adopted by many of law, and the two others asserting that it courts, see "Words and Phrases," Vol. I, page interfered with the rights of the municipal855. We find nothing in the charge in this case which brings the purpose or conduct of the de.
ity. The chief judge of the court, who was fendant within such definition. Much obscurity
one of the last mentioned pair, in the course and uncertainty has originated in the careless use of his conclusion, referred to organized laof the terms of this character.
bor in this wise: "I fear that the many outMutual confidence, forbearance, patience and
rages of labor organizations, or of some of concession, accompanied by a free, frank interchange of thought and feeling, will do more to their members, have not only excited just perpetuate the kindly relations existing among us, indignation, but at times have frightened with our homogeneous population, than prosecu.
courts into plain legal inconsistencies and tions for criminal conspiracies—when no criminal
into the enunciation of doctrines which, if or unlawful elements exist. In view of the wide divergence of judicial opinion, by reason whereof asserted in litigations arising under any the law is oppressed with a distressing uncertain other subject than labor legislation, would ty, it would seem that the legislature should abro meet scant courtesy or consideration." He gate the common law on the subject and enact a
then demonstrated his fitness for the high plain, clearly expressed and carefully guarded statute in lieu thereof. We have considered the office which he holds by saying that, reappeal in its legal aspects as represented by the .gardless of his own opinion, he felt it his record. His honor's judgment quashing the in- duty to follow the decision in a state case dictment must be affirmed.
he quoted as being the precedent upon
which he based his conclusion. The sixth A Boston daily paper says that New York
judge, in his dissenting opinion, said: had an employer in court recently charged
The power of the legislature to enact laws based with working children sixty-eight hours in
upon consideration of public policy, or for the a six-day week, paying them $3 therefor, protection and preservation of the health of the and docking them 10 cents for talking and 2 people, is beyond question. The state in enacting cents for being five minutes late. Is there
laws must act in accordance with the common ex
perience of mankind, and when it determines that any shame left in New York? our contem
the general welfare of employes, mechanics and porary asks. And yet the Empire State is workmen, upon whom rest a portion of the bur. conceded to have a model child labor law. dens of government, will be subserved by limiting This employer evidently “runs his own
the hours of labor to be performed to eight con
tinuous hours per day, and that such limitation will business.”
promote their morality, physical and intellectual
condition, I think the courts can not properly say Many of the employes on the Pennsyl- that the limitation is unreasonable or that it viovania lines west of Pittsburg had their lates the provisions of the constitution. wages increased voluntarily by the railroad The decision in this case, and the many company, it is reported.
other freakish rulings by the judiciary in
as it does not, by its regulations, infringe the personal rights of others; and that has not been done in this case.
As already stated, the New York chief judge asserted that he was governed by an established precedent in reaching his conclusion. The question naturally follows: Which precedent does the learned jurist consider supreme-one established by the highest tribunal of the land or that set by some state court?
labor cases in recent years, seem to justify this caustic commentary on lawyers (and our judges are supposed to be the cream of that profession), made by Justice Horace E. Deemer, of the supreme court of Iowa, in an address delivered in Des Moines some months ago: "Few lawyers have creative genius. Their habits of thought tend to curb the imagination and are toward conservatism. They do not as a rule create anything—but disturbance—and blindly and unquestionably follow precedent. They become strong logicians and adepts in the art of refinement, have great vigor of intellectual grasp and penetrating judgment, but are rarely, indeed, creative. The creative genius is so rare everywhere that when he comes he attracts the whole world.”
In this connection, however, it is difficult to understand why the New York court overlooked the recent decision of the United States supreme court sustaining the constitutionality of the Kansas state eighthour law, in which Justice Harlan, speaking for the court, touched upon the identical points given by the judges of the New York court as their reasons for declaring the New York state eight-hour law unconstitutional. Justice Harlan's language regarding the assertions that the eight-hour law deprived a person of property without due process of law and was also an interference with the rights of a municipality, was quoted in full in The Journal at the time the decision in the Kansas case was rendered, and the portions referring to these two points are here reproduced :
If it be contended to be the right of every one to dispose of his labor on such terms as he deems best-as undoubtedly it is—and that to make it a criminal offense for a contractor for public work to permit or require his employe to perform labor on that work in excess of eight hours each day is in derogation of the liberty of both employe and employer, it is sufficient to say that no employe is entitled, of absolute right and as a part of his liberty, to perform labor for the state; and no contractor for public work can excuse a violation of his agreement with the state by doing that which the statute under which he proceeds distinctly and lawfully forbids him to do. * * *
We (the court) rest our decision upon the broad ground that the work being of a public character, absolutely under the control of the state and the municipal agents acting by its authority, it is for the state to prescribe the conditions under which it will permit work of that kind to be done. Its action touching such a matter is final so long
The appellate branch of the state supreme court, in Brooklyn, has rendered a decision which in substance upholds the boycott; declares that unions can not be restrained from ordering a strike, and adjudges that picketing, if for purposes of observation only, is lawful. The decision was rendered in the case of three non-union men, who sought for an injunction to restrain their employers from discharging them, and also that the stereotypers' and electrotypers' unions of New York be restrained from interfering with them in their efforts to obtain employment, and from picketing and boycotting the business of their employers.
The court was also asked by the employers to restrain the unions named from declaring a strike. Concerning the subject of the boycott, and the right to maintain one, Justice Jenks, who wrote the decision in the case, said:
A may refuse to trade with B unless B changes a certain policy, and A may think that his attitude is necessary for his own welfare and protection. It can not be contended that A thereby offends the law. If A may take this step, it does not seem logical to hold that A and C together may not, and may not by argument, persuasion and entreaty, bring D and E to their side. If A, C, D and E can not do what A alone may lawfully do, the vice must be in the combination. But there is no dissent in our highest court over the proposition in National Protective Association vs. Cumming that “Whatever one may do alone he may do in combination with others, provided they have no unlawful object in view. Mere numbers do not ordinarily affect the quality of an act." A's attitude may be trivial as to B, when that of the combination might enforce B's concessions, but this affords no legal reason against such combination.
Other quotations from and information in connection with this important legal decision will be found in the “President's Page” and the "International Stereotypers' and Electrotypers' Union” department.
LYNCHBURG (VA.) Union No. 510 reports that it has signed a contract with Moose Bros. & Co. for another year.
All the printing offices in Charleston, W. Va., have agreed to an eight-and-one-halfhour day for the year 1905, and that eight hours shall constitute a day's work during the year 1906.
* * * The scale for hand composition in Redlands, Cal., has been increased $1.50 per week and the workday reduced one-half hour. Machine operators working under the jurisdiction of No. 584 are paid over the Los Angeles scale.
* * * ACCORDING to agreement, beginning January 1, 1905, eight and one-half hours will constitute a day's work, except on Saturday (when the workday will consist of eight hours), for members of Elizabeth (N. J.)
weight Typographical Union No. 150.
* * * ORGANIZER SCOTT reports that the new job scale of Brockton (Mass.) Typographical Union takes effect on January 1, 1905. It provides for an increase of $1.50 per week of fifty-four hours, besides granting other concessions. The new agreement is for one year.
number of hours; machine operators, $4 on morning papers, and $3.50 on afternoon papers, with 50 cents additional for each machine for machinist-operators. The eighthour provision has been in force on the newspapers for several years, but heretofore · nine hours has been considered a day in job offices. The employers are given one year in which to arrange for the eight-hour day, a quarter of an hour being dropped every three months.
* * * For the first three months of this year nine hours will continue to constitute a day's work for members of Murphysboro (I11.) Union No. 217. A reduction of fifteen minutes will be made in the second and succeeding quarters of 1905, the eight-hour day being thus reached on January 1, 1906. By the new scale of No. 217 the piece rate for hand composition is advanced to 25 cents and 30 cents per 1,000 for day and night work, respectively.
* * * The offices of the Times and Blade, at Portsmouth, Ohio, have been unionized. Both newspapers conduct job offices, and the scale of prices of Typographical Union No. 637 will be in force in both departments. On January 1, 1905, six offices in Portsmouth will be working under the rules of No. 637, virtually including all concerns of any importance.
* * * The scale of prices of Charleston (W. Va.) Union has been signed by every printing establishment in that city. The new agreement grants a working day of eight and a half hours during 1905 and the eight-hour day for 1906. The Charleston Daily Mail has secured the public printing contract.
* * * SECRETARY R. N. Mattox, of Anderson (Ind.) Union, writes: “Through the efficient services of Organizer Brady, I am enabled to officially notify you that Anderson is now a thoroughly union town.”
* * * C. L. LEACHE, president of Austin (Texas) Union No. 138, writes: “Austin printers are feeling pretty good. The bien
A new agreement has been signed by all except one of the printing offices in Bismarck, N. D., and it is hoped to secure the signature lacking before this issue of The JOURNAL reaches its readers. The new scale of No. 180 provides for a raise in wages of $2 per week, except to machine operators.
* * *
The new scale of Walla Walla (Wash.) Typographical Union went into effect 'on January 1, and according to its terms will remain in force for a period of three years. Printers on morning papers will be paid $3.50 for eight hours' work, and on afternoon papers will receive $3 for the same
promise suits instituted by their stenographers. The society asserts that these figures are sufficient to create a strong sentiment against girls becoming stenographers, and it appeals to women's clubs and church societies to assist in warning parents against allowing their daughters to follow this calling.
nial signing of the scale of prices has taken place, and every shop in the city has affixed its signature thereto. We sign here for two years, to cover the life of the state contracts. We got a material increase all around. Here it is: Everything is eight hours, with an option of six on morning papers and seven on afternoon. Jobmen, $18 per week, with a 50-cent raise every six months until a minimum of $20 is reached; head proofreaders, day, $24; proofreaders, $20; night proofreaders, $27; admen, stonemen, makeups, headmen, etc., night, $27; foremen, $30; machine operators, minion and smaller, 1212 cents per 1,000; brevier, 16 cents, day and night, with much single price raised to price and one-half, and price and one-half raised to double price. Time scale -Day operators, $24; night, $27; machinists, day, $24; night, $27. There are many minor changes, which all redound to the welfare of the printerman.”
Previous to the strike, the wages per day of union men in the Minneapolis (Minn.) flour mills were as follows: Packers, $2.75; sewers and nailers, $2.25; bran packers, $2.08—all working eight hours a day. Since the Washburn-Crosby Company employed "independent" workers, under the open shop policy, it has been paying girl packers from $1 to $1.25 per day; men packers, $2 to $2.50; sewers and nailers, $1.50 to $2—all working ten hours. Bran packers are working twelve hours per day for $2.20. If you purchase the Washburn-Crosby products do you get them for less money than you pay for the brands of other firms which treat their employes decently?
The justices of the appellate division of the state supreme court, in Brooklyn, N.
Ň Y., recently rendered a decision declaring the closed shop illegal. A contract entered into between a Brooklyn firm and the local union of the United Garment Workers of America, whereby the firm was prohibited from employing labor not belonging to the local, and also from employing even a member of the union unless such member held a card signed by the business agent of the local, was declared by the court to be contrary to public policy. One of the justices dissented. In other words, the court decides that an employer's signature to a labor contract is worthless from a legal standpoint.
COMMENTING upon the address of President Van Cleave, of the St. Louis (Mo.) Citizens' Industrial Association, in which he said the larger part of the $17,000,000 paid into the treasuries of labor unions every year was used to spread socialistic doctrines, the Progressive Printer says: “Mr. Van Cleave is a strong man in business, is a respected citizen of St. Louis and very successful. But the action of the American Federation of Labor, in its convention at San Francisco, in which the leaders of that body and a heavy majority vote defeated every important movement of the socialist element in the convention, hardly bears out Mr. Van Cleave's statement that the 'greater part of $17,000,000 is used annually to spread socialistic doctrines throughout the country.'” Mr. Van Cleave, if he values the high estimation in which he is held in St. Louis, judging from the above quotation, had better sever his connection with the infamous Parry organization, whose chief business is to misrepresent the aims and purposes of organized labor. The misstatement above mentioned demonstrates that he has already become contaminated.
The Anti-Women Stenographers' Society of Columbus, Ohio, which was organized some years ago to create and foster sentiment against employing young girls as stenographers in business offices, claims to have gathered facts showing that during the last ten years 6,263 divorce suits have been filed by wives in this country, with their husbands' stenographers named as co-respondents, out of which 5,962 were granted. In the same period 796 employers in this country were made defendants in breach of