« PreviousContinue »
[Public Laws, 1898.]
Chap. 370.– An Act Concerning carriers engaged in inter
state 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 carrier subject to this Act and the employees of such carrier, seriously interrupting or threatening to interrupt the business of said carrier, the chairman of the Interstate Commerce Commission and the Commissioner of Labor shall, upon the request of either party to the controversy, with all practicable expedition, put themselves in communication with the parties to such controversy, and shall use their best efforts, by mediation and conciliation, to amicably settle the same; and if such efforts shall be unsuccessful, shall at once endeavor to bring about an arbitration of said controversy in accordance with the provisions of this act.
Sec. 3. Whenever a controversy shall arise between a carrier subject to this Act and the employees of such carrier which cannot be settled by mediation and conciliation in the manner provided in the preceding section, said controversy may be submitted to the arbitration of a board of three persons, who shall be chosen in the manner following: One shall be named by the carrier or employer directly interested; the other shall be named by the labor organization to which the employees directly interested belong, or, if they belong to more than one, by that one of them which specially represents employees of the same grade and class and engaged in services of the same nature as said employees so directly interested: Provided, however, That when a controversy involves and affects the interests of two or more classes and grades of employees belonging to different labor organizations, such arbitrator shall be agreed upon and designated by the concurrent action of all such labor organizations; and in cases where the majority of such employees are not members of any labor organization, said employees may by a majority vote select a committee of their own number, which committee shall have the right to select the arbitrator on behalf of said employees. The two thus chosen shall select the third commissioner of arbitration; but, in the event of their failure to name such arbitrator within five days after their first meeting, the third arbitrator shall be named by the commissioners named in the preceding section. A majority of said arbitrators shall be competent to make a valid and binding award under the provisions hereof. The submission shall be in writing, shall be signed by the employer and by the labor organization representing the employees, shall specify the time and place of meeting of said board of arbitration, shall state the questions to be decided, and shall contain appropriate provisions by which the respective parties shall stipulate, as follows:
First. That the board of arbitration shall commence their hearings within ten days from the date of the appointment of the third arbitrator, and shall find and file their award, as provided in this section, within thirty days from the date of the appointment of the third arbitrator; and that pending the arbitration the status existing immediately prior to the dispute shall not be changed : Provided, That no employee shall be compelled to render personal service without his consent.
Second. That the award and the papers and proceedings, including the testimony relating thereto certified under the hands of the arbitrators and which shall have the foroe and effect of a bill of exceptions, shall be filed in the clerk's office of the circuit court of the United States for the district wherein the controversy arises or the arbitration is entered into, and shall be final and conclusive upon both parties, unless set aside for error of law apparent on the record.
Third. That the respective parties to the award will each faithfully execute the same, and that the same may be specifically enforced in equity so far as the powers of a court of equity permit: Provided, That no injunction or other legal process shall be issued which shall compel the performance by any laborer against his will of a contract for personal labor or service.
Fourth. That employees dissatisfied with the award shall not by reason of such dissatisfaction quit the service of the employer before the expiration of three months from and after the making of such award without giving thirty days' notice in writing of their intention so to quit. Nor shall the enployer dissatisfied with such award dismiss any employee or employees on account of such dissatisfaction before the expiration of three months from and after the making of such award without giving thirty days' notice in writing of his intention so to discharge.
Fifth. That said award shall continue in force as between the parties thereto for the period of one year after the same shall go into practical operation, and no new arbitration upon the same subject between the same employer and the same class of employees shall be had until the expiration of said one year if the award is not set aside as provided in section four. That as to individual employees not belonging to the labor organization or organizations which shall enter into the arbitration, the said arbitration and the award made therein shall not be binding, unless the said individual employees shall give assent in writing to become parties to said arbitration.
Sec. 4. The award being filed in the clerk's office of a circuit court of the United States, as hereinbefore provided, shall go into practical operation, and judgment shall be entered thereon accordingly at the expiration of ten days from such filing, unless within such ten days either party shall file exceptions thereto for matter of law apparent upon the record, in which case said award shall go into practical operation and judgment be entered accordingly when such exceptions shall have been finally disposed of either by said circuit court or on appeal therefrom.
At the expiration of ten days from the decision of the circuit court upon exceptions taken to said award, as aforesaid, judgment shall be entered in accordance with said decision unless during said ten days either party shall appeal therefrom to the circuit court of appeals. In such case only such portion of the record shall be transmitted to the appellate court as is necessary to the proper understanding and consideration of the questions of law presented by said exceptions and to be decided.
The determination of said circuit court of appeals upon said questions shall be final, and being certified by the clerk thereof to said circuit court, judgment pursuant thereto shall thereupon be entered by said circuit court.
If exceptions to an award are finally sustained, judgment shall be entered setting aside the award. But in such case the parties may agree upon a judgment to be entered disposing of the subject matter of the controversy, which judgment when entered shall have the same force and effect as judgment entered upon an award.
Sec. 5. For the purposes of this Act the arbitrators herein provided for, or either of them, shall have power to administer oaths and affirmations, sign subpenas, require the attendance and testimony of witnesses, and the production of such books, papers, contracts, agreements, and documents material to a just determination of the matters under investigation as may be ordered by the court; and may invoke the aid of the United States courts to compel witnesses to attend and testify and to produce such books, papers, contracts, agreements and documents to the same extent and under the same conditions and penalties as is provided for in the Act to regulate commerce, approved February fourth, eighteen hundred and eighty-seven, and the amendments thereto.
SEC. 6. Every agreement of arbitration under this act shall be acknowledged by the parties before a notary public or clerk of a district or circuit court of the United States, and when so acknowledged a copy of the same shall be transmitted to the chairman of the Interstate Commerce Commission, who shall file the same in the office of said commission.
Any agreement of arbitration which shall be entered into conforming to this Act, except that it shall be executed by employees individually instead of by a labor organization as their representative, shall, when duly acknowledged as herein provided, be transmitted to the chairman of the Interstate Commerce Commission, who shall cause a notice in writing to be served upon the arbitrators, fixing a time and place for a meeting of said board, which shall be within fifteen days from the execution of said agreement of arbitration : Provided, however, That the said chairman of the Interstate Commerce Commission shall decline to call a meeting of arbitrators under such agreement unless it be shown to his satisfaction that the employees signing the submission represent or include a majority of all employees in the service of the same employer and of the same grade and class, and that an award pursuant to said submission can justly be regarded as binding upon all such employees.
Sec. 7. During the pendency of arbitration under this Act it shall not be lawful for the employer, party to such arbitration, to discharge the employees, parties thereto, except for inefficiency, violation of law, or neglect of duty; nor for the organization representing such employees to order, nor for the employees to unite in, aid, or abet, strikes against said employer; nor, during a period of three months after an award under such an arbitration, for such employer to discharge any