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This decision as to the effect of the Clayton Act is of the greatest importance. That law was passed by Congress at the special behest of labor, which sought thereby to wipe out the decision of the Supreme Court in the Hatters' case; it contains provisions that the labor of a human being is not a commodity; that the Anti-Trust laws shall not be construed to forbid the existence or operations of labor organizations or their members and that in certain classes of cases no injunction shall issue against peaceful strikes, picketing, boycotting, or attempts to persuade others to take part therein. The American Federation of Labor hailed the law as its Magna Charta or Bill of Rights, claiming that it relieved labor from all restraints in cases of this nature, and it was sustained in its contentions by some distinguished lawyers. On the other hand, your counsel has persistently maintained that the Clayton Act is but declaratory of the common law, that it does not exempt organized labor from the AntiTrust law, and that the principles laid down in the Hatters' case remained undisturbed. This is the position now sustained by the court.
The practical effect of this decision should be far-reaching, since the practices which it condemns have become a familiar device affecting many industries and many communities. Such combinations are now open to attack by a private party either seeking an injunction or treble damages; by the government either through injunction or criminal prosecution; by a proceeding before the Federal Trade Commission to enjoin unfair methods of competition.
Concerning the application of the Clayton Act, the dissenting opinion by Mr. Justice Pitney, with whom concurred Mr. Justice McKenna and Mr. Justice Van Devanter, says as follows:
Aside from their rights under the Act of 1890, I think appellants are now entitled to an injunction under section 16 of the Clayton Act -the case clearly being within the terms of the section-notwithstanding the Act took effect after the final decree in the District Court. In an equity suit for injunction the reviewing court should decide the case according to the law as it exists at the time of its decision. This is not giving
a retrospective effect to the new statute, for the relief granted operates only in futuro.
The suggestion, in behalf of defendants, that section 6 of the Clayton Act* establishes a policy inconsistent with relief by injunction in such a case as the present, by making legitimate any acts or practices of labor organizations or their members that were unlawful before, is wholly inadmissible. The section prohibits restraining members of such organizations from "lawfully carrying out the legitimate objects thereof." What these are is indicated by the qualifying words: "instituted for the purpose of mutual help, and not having capital stock or conducted for profit." But these are protected only when "lawfully carried out." The section safeguards these organizations while pursuing their legitimate objects by lawful means, and prevents them from being considered, merely because organized, to be illegal combinations or conspiracies in restraint of trade. The section,
*"Sec. 6. That the labor of a human being is not a commodity or article of commerce. Nothing contained in the anti-trust laws shall be construed to forbid the existence and operation of labor, agricultural, or horticultural organizations, instituted for the purposes of mutual help, and not having capital stock or conducted for profit, or to forbid or restrain individual members of such organizations from lawfully carrying out the legitimate objects thereof; nor shall such organizations, or the members thereof, be held or construed to be illegal combinations or conspiracies in restraint of trade, under the anti-trust laws."
fairly construed, has no other or further intent or meaning. A reference to the legislative history of the measure confirms this view. House Rep. No. 627, 63d Cong. 2d Sess., pp. 2, 1416; Senate Rep. No. 698, 63d Cong., 2d Sess., pp. 1, 10, 46. Neither in the language of the section, nor in the committee reports, is there any indication of a purpose to render lawful or legitimate anything that before the Act was unlawful, whether in the objects of such an organization or its members or in the measures adopted for accomplishing them.
It is altogether fallacious, I think, to say that what is being done by the present defendants is done only for the purpose of strengthening the union. Conceding this purpose to be lawful, it does not justify or excuse the resort to unlawful measures for its accomplishment. A member of a labor union may refuse to work with non-union men, but this does not entitle him to threaten manufacturers for whom he is not working, and with whom he has no concern, with loss of trade and a closing of the channels of inter-state commerce against their products if they do not conduct their business in a manner satisfactory to him.
And the suggestion that, before the Clayton Act, unlawful practices of this kind were usually and notoriously resorted to by labor unions, and that for this reason Congress must have intended to describe them as "legitimate objects," and thus render lawful what before was unlawful, is a libel upon the labor organizations and a serious impeachment of Congress.
Nor can I find in section 20 of the Clayton Act anything interfering with the right of complainants to an injunction. It refers only to cases "between an employer and employees, or between employers and employees, or between employees, or between persons employed and persons seeking employment, involving, or growing out of, a dispute concerning terms or conditions of employment." These words evidently relate to suits arising from strikes and similar controversies, and the committee reports upon the bill bear out this view of the scope of the section. But this is not such a suit. There is no relation of employer and employee, either present or prospective, between the parties in this case. Defendants who are employees are in one branch of industry in New York City; complainants are employers of labor in another branch of industry in distant States. Nor is there any dispute between them concerning terms or conditions of employment. Section 20 prohibits an injunction restraining any person "from ceasing to patronize or to employ any party to such dispute, or from recommending, advising, or persuading others by peaceful and lawful means so to do; or from peaceably assembling in a lawful manner, and for lawful purposes, or from doing any act or thing which
might lawfully be done in the absence of such dispute by any party thereto."
There is no grant,
Clearly, this provision is limited to the participants in a dispute of the character just indicated. And, quite as clearly, only "lawful" measures are sanctioned that is, of course, measures that were lawful before the Act. in terms or by necessary inference, of immunity in favor of a boycott of traders in inter-state commerce, violative of the provisions of the Sherman Act, to which the Clayton is supplemental.
MORE UNION DYNAMITING IN CHICAGO
Eight members of the janitors' union, including officials, are held at the 50th street police station, in connection with the dynamiting of a Chicago flat building.
Roti, the owner of the wrecked building, states that the building had been dynamited before as a result of his refusal to meet demands for money. Sergeant M. J. Grady declares the explosion to be a union job, and says his prisoners have given clues to the perpetrators.
The south side has had three explosions recently, all apparently growing out of the trouble with the janitors' union. Sylvester O'Connor, 60 years old, was killed by a bomb exploded in front of a building he was passing on his way home from work. His brother, James O'Connor, who was with him, was seriously injured and is now at the point of death in Englewood hospital.
A second explosion occurred in front of a four story brick. building on Wentworth Avenue. A powerful charge was used and window panes shattered for blocks around.
"Woe be to the man or group of men that seeks to stand in our way in this day of high resolutions when every principle we hold dearest is to be vindicated and made secure for the salvation of the nations.-President Wilson on Flag Day.