« ForrigeFortsett »
to exempt them or their members from accountability when they depart from objects that are normal and legitimate and engage in an actual combination or conspiracy in restraint of trade. It does not authorize any activity otherwise unlawful, or enable a normally lawful organization to cloak such an illegal combination or conspiracy. P. 468.
8. The first paragraph of § 20 of the Clayton Act-which provides that injunctions shall not be granted in any case between an employer and employees, etc., growing out of a dispute concerning the terms and conditions of employment, unless necessary to prevent irreparable injury to property, or to a property right, of the party making the application, for which injury there is no adequate remedy at law, and that such property right must be described with particularity in the application, which must be in writing and sworn to by the applicant or by his agent or attorney,-is merely declaratory of the law as it stood before. P. 469.
9. The second paragraph of § 20 of the Clayton Act, which provides that "no such injunction shall prohibit" certain specified acts, manifestly refers to injunctions in any case of the character mentioned in the paragraph preceding, namely, "a case between an employer and employees involving, or growing out of, a dispute concerning terms or conditions of employment;" and the concluding words of the second paragraph, "nor shall any of the acts specified in this paragraph be considered or held to be violations of any law of the United States," are to be read in the light of the context, and mean only that those acts are not to be so held when committed by parties concerned in a "dispute concerning terms or conditions of employment." P. 469.
10. As the section imposes an exceptional and extraordinary restriction upon the equity powers of the federal courts, and upon the general operation of the anti-trust laws, conferring a special privilege or immunity upon a particular class to the detriment of the general public, the rules of statutory construction forbid that the privilege be enlarged by resorting to a loose construction or by ignoring or slighting the qualifying words of the section. P. 471.
11. This section confines the exceptional privilege to those who are proximately and substantially concerned in an actual dispute respecting the terms or conditions of their own employment, past, present or prospective; it does not use the words "employers and employees" in a general class sense, or treat all the members of a labor organization as parties to a dispute which proximately affects but a few of them. Pp. 471 et seq.
Argument for Appellant.
12. That the Clayton Act was not intended to legalize the secondary boycott is shown by its legislative history. P. 474.
13. In construing an act of Congress, debates expressing views and motives of individual members may not be resorted to, but reports of committees and explanatory statements in the nature of a supplemental report made by the committee member in charge of the bill in course of passage, may. Id.
252 Fed. Rep. 722, reversed.
THE case is stated in the opinion.
Mr. Walter Gordon Merritt and Mr. Daniel Davenport for appellant:
This is not an ordinary labor case in which the defendants have sought to improve their conditions of employment by a strike and incidental picketing against their employer, to which the ordinary rules relative to labor unions are applicable. Such a case involves manufacturing and production, which are the peculiar concern of labor unions.
The attack here is upon complainant's trade and commerce, United States v. Knight Co., 156 U. S. 1; Dr. Miles Medical Co. v. Park & Sons Co., 220 U. S. 373; and there is not, nor has there been, any strike or discontent among the complainant's employees, except the ordered quitting work on August 27, 1913, of eleven out of 200 in the factory at Battle Creek and three road men erecting presses in different parts of the country. The complainant's productive organization is intact, and there is a harmonious copartnership between it and its employees, producing goods which are being attacked by union men in the interest of union factories and their employees. If complainant's employees were dissatisfied and had withdrawn from their employment with the complainant, and there was nothing else in the case, it would be a strike case, but since outsiders are trying to attack the trade and commerce being carried on through a harmoni
Argument for Appellant.
ous partnership of labor and capital it is a boycott case. When employer and employees are working happily together to such an extent that the workmen refuse all inducements to strike, any further interference with their rights, whether it be by violence, intimidation or a boycott of the fruits of their toil, is illegal. If strikers or labor union representatives cannot persuade men to quit work, their rights are exhausted and they cannot resort to additional and more drastic methods. A strike is a fight between labor and capital, where labor withdraws from its copartnership with capital, and such a withdrawal because of dissatisfaction with the terms of the partnership is lawful. But a boycott necessarily implies that the goods are being produced by an existing organization of labor and capital, so that any attack on the goods and the sale of those goods is an attack upon both labor and capital, by union men working in the interest of union employers—and sometimes at their instigation-to prevent the sale of the open-shop products and secure a monopoly for the union-made products; it is the openshop employer and his employees on the one side and the union employer and union employees on the other side, and the legality of the combination is not to be tested by the rules applicable to a labor-capital fight where labor merely withdraws from its partnership with capital, but is to be tested by the anti-trust laws which define the lawful methods of competition in the sale and distribution of products.
One of the purposes of the anti-trust laws is to give the public the benefit of free competition, so that all products surviving the battle of fair competition may flow naturally into the public markets of the nation for the selection of consumers. Any artificial or unreasonable obstruction to trade which deprives the public of these advantages necessarily violates the anti-trust laws.
To unduly restrict competition or obstruct the course
Argument for Appellant.
of trade is injurious to the public because it deprives the public of its inherent right of enjoying the service and the fruits of the service of everybody, and because if the obstruction is successful it keeps goods from the market and restricts the public's right of choice in determining what articles it may purchase. Any combination which, by artificial means, seeks to obstruct the course of trade, is illegal, and only that obstruction is tolerated which is incidental to the ordinary and regular pursuit of a business. The combination in the case at bar and the injury which it has inflicted and threatens to inflict upon the complainant was not incidental to the pursuit of any legitimate business, but had for its sole and direct purpose the suppression of the complainant's competition by erecting an artificial barrier between complainant and its customers and destroying its interstate trade.
The object of the defendants is to prevent the sale and use of machines unless they come from factories operated and exclusively manned by members of the combination and in accordance with methods approved by it. According to the defendants' contentions, and the contentions of the union factories which have conceded their demands, they must protect the union factories from the competition of the open-shop factories, because, under the natural laws of trade and competition, the union factories cannot survive with their increased cost of production. Not being able to control the complainant's producing organization at Battle Creek because the employees are contented with their employment, the only possible method by which this could be accomplished is to restrain the trade and commerce of the complainant by making their products unsalable. This is done by calling strikes against their installation, preventing common carriers from hauling them, threatening purchasers with strikes of pressmen, and with the impossibility of operating the presses, causing breakdowns of such presses, preventing
Argument for Appellant.
their repair, and finally even seeking to suppress their public exhibition and advertisement. If this can be done the barrier between the complainant and the public market will be unsurmountable.
There is no relation between the complainant's factories in Battle Creek and the places where the presses are to be exhibited, hauled, installed or operated, except commerce, so that the only way in which the conditions in the factories can be affected by the conduct of the men at the place of consignment is by controlling commerce.
The combination violates the Federal Anti-Trust Law and the complainant is entitled to an injunction under the Act of October 15, 1914.
The right to work or quit work is no more absolute than any other constitutional right and ceases to be a right when exercised for the purpose of injuring another or accomplishing a result contrary to public policy or restraining trade contrary to law. Aikens v. Wisconsin, 195 U. S. 204; Gompers v. Bucks Stove & Range Co., 221 U. S. 418; Hitchman Coal & Coke Co. v. Mitchell, 245 U. S. 229; Paine Lumber Co. v. Neal, 244 U. S. 459; Loewe v. Lawlor, 208 U. S. 274; 235 U. S. 522; Montague v. Lowry, 193 U. S. 38; Eastern States Retail Lumber Dealers' Association v. United States, 234 U. S. 600; United States v. Patten, 226 U. S. 525; Standard Oil Co. v. United States, 221 U. S. 1; State v. Duluth Board of Trade, 107 Minnesota, 506.
A private party is entitled to an injunction against acts in violation of the Federal Anti-Trust Law. Clayton Act, § 16.
There is nothing in §§ 6 and 20 of the Clayton Act which legalizes conspiracies or forbids the issuance of injunctions in cases like this.
There is nothing in the act which indicates any intention to "draw the teeth" of the Anti-Trust Law, and everything points to a determination for more stringent