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engaged and designed or calculated to coerce the Government, either directly or by inflicting hardship upon the community. From the beginning, in 1875, up to and including the act of 1927, the British laws have contained special penalties with respect to certain acts of individuals likely to deprive the public of essential services (particularly water, gas, and electricity) during industrial disputes.11
32. We found a complete unanimity of opinion that the act of 1927 does not forbid, or destroy the immunity of unions from suit in the case of sympathetic strikes extending beyond a given industry, unless such strikes are also designed or calculated to coerce the Government, either directly or by inflicting hardships upon the community. Nor does it forbid or destroy the previously granted statutory immunity of unions from suit in the case of sympathetic or other strikes within a given industry, even though they may be designed or calculated to coerce the Government, either directly or by inflicting hardship upon the community. The act, according to this consensus of opinion, was intended to prevent a repetition of the general strike of 1926, and it fully "delegalizes" everything done in support of such a strike. But for ordinary industrial strikes the immunity of trade-unions is preserved.
33. These provisions of the act have not been interpreted in courts of records, and there is a great latitude for interpretation in the provisions prohibiting sympathetic strikes which are (1) not "within the trade or industry" and (2) are "designed or calculated to coerce the Government either directly or by inflicting hardship upon the community." How the courts will construe the italicized words, if cases should be presented, no one can venture to say. Among the persons who met with us, opinions differed as to whether or not this uncertainty had been a deterrent to sympathetic strikes. In the years 1923, 1924, and 1925 there were 43 sympathetic strikes, involving a total of 71,000 workers; and in the years 1934, 1935, and 1936 there were 39 sympathetic strikes, involving a total of 120,000 workers. No concrete examples were brought to our attention of unions which, desiring to engage in sympathetic strike action, refrained from doing so for fear of what the courts might hold. Until such examples have been afforded, it will not be possible to say that the act has been of any practical effect in this direction, nor is it possible to prophesy whether or not such examples will be afforded.
(2) Picketing and intimidation.
34. Permissible picketing is defined by successive acts of Parliament (the acts of 1875, 1906, and 1927) as attending* by one or more persons acting on their own behalf or on behalf of a trade-union or of an individual employer or firm in contemplation or furtherance of a trade dispute (act of 1906) at or near the house where a person resides, or works, or carries on business or happens to be, or the approach to such house or place, in order merely to obtain or communicate information, or to peacefully persuade any person to work or abstain from working (act of 1906; provided that they do not so attend in such number or otherwise in such manner as to be calculated to intimidate any person in such house or place, or to obstruct
*The words not italicized are the original provisions of the act of 1875. The italicized phrases were added by the acts of 1906 and 1927 as indicated.
the approach thereto or egress therefrom, or to lead to a breach of the peace (act of 1927).
35. When, in 1825, Parliament repealed certain provisions of the combination laws and thereby partially lifted the ban upon tradeunion activities, it simultaneously penalized the use of violence, threats or intimidation, molestation, or obstruction in connection with such activities. Certain doubts arose as to the true meaning of the words "molestation" and "obstruction" and the act of 1859 defined these words so as to permit peaceable and reasonable persuasion "without threat or intimidation, direct or indirect." The subsequent definition of permissible picketing in the Conspiracy and Protection of Property Act of 1875 (see italicized words in preceding paragraph) was associated with an express prohibition of rioting, unlawful assembly, breach of the peace, use of violence or intimidation, and the like. This prohibition has been preserved by the subsequent acts and, additionally, the 1927 act defines the words "to intimidate" as "to cause in the mind of a person a reasonable apprehension of injury to him or to any member of his family or to any of his dependents or of violence or damage to any person or property"; thereby excluding any idea that its meaning might be restricted to infliction of actual property damage or bodily harm.
36. For the most part the conduct of strikes has been accompanied, at least since collective bargaining became generally accepted, by relatively little violence or provocation. In the case of strikes involving at the outset enough workers to make a continued operation of a plant impractical, employers almost invariably shut down their plants and do not attempt to operate until the controversy has been settled by negotiation. Several reasons for this practice were given us. In the first place, in the strongly organized industries it is difficult to obtain replacements, but even where organization is not extensive there is a general feeling among workers and employers that "the job belongs to the man" and that it is not right for men to take, or to be asked to take, the jobs of their fellows. Secondly, collective bargaining having been generally accepted, there is confidence on both sides that the controversy will be settled by peaceful negotiations, and a desire on both sides to effect a resumption of work under circumstances as free from bitterness as possible, so that future strife may be avoided.
37. It follows from these policies that discrimination against strikers and their leaders, if not wholly eliminated, is reduced to insignificance. In the case of strikes involving only a portion of a plant, the plant may be operated with the men who remain at work, but they are not usually asked by the employer to do the work of the men on strike; order is generally preserved and men are not forcibly prevented by picket lines from going to or coming from
38. All of these statements are subject to qualifications in exceptional instances, particularly where the community may consist chiefly of workers and their families engaged in the industry where the trouble has occurred. But it is certainly true that violence on the part of the workers, and provocative tactics on the part of the employers, have not for a long time played any significant part in industrial disturbances, and that the chief reliance for the main
tenance of industrial peace in Great Britain is placed on the settlement of all issues and differences by the voluntary collective-bargaining methods already described.
39. To most of the union officials, and to the employers and their representatives with whom we met, we put the question whether and to what extent the act of 1927 had affected their relations, and the answer was that it had not made any difference in the processes of collective bargaining, which had substantially all been established prior to the passage of the legislation.
(3) Political objects.
40. The British Labor Party was created by trade union action (although membership in the party is open to citizens generally), and close relationship has always been maintained between the party and the trade-union movement, represented by the Trades Union Congress. We were informed by several competent observers that the existence of the Labor Party afforded a means of focusing public opinion on matters concerning labor and on conditions which labor seeks to remedy. The law does not place any restrictions upon the pursuit of political objects by trade-unions, but what has been restricted is the application of the funds of a trade-union to certain. political objects. In 1910 the expenditure of funds for political objects was declared by a decision of the House of Lords to be beyond the powers of a trade-union. This decision was followed by the Trade-Union Act of 1913, which legalized such expenditures provided that the furtherance of political objects had been approved by majority vote of the union members present at a meeting, under balloting rules approved by the registrar, and provided further that any member could by a written notice to his union ("contracting-out") relieve himself of all obligation to contribute. Annual accounts of its political funds must be filed with the registrar by every tradeunion, whether it be a registered or unregistered union.
41. The act of 1927 substituted for the "contracting-out" proviso the "contracting-in" proviso, which means that a member must sign and file with the trade-union a written notice of his willingness to make a political contribution. We were informed that this proviso was aimed to weaken the Labor Party. The act of 1927 has undoubtedly reduced its revenues from the unions. The estimated percentages of union members who now "contract-in" varied widely in the different unions whose officials we met. No exact statistical comparisons could be made without a study of the records, including a study of the percentages in the different unions who before the act of 1927 "contracted-out;" and even then the comparisons would not be exact, since union members may affiliate locally with the Labor Party as individuals and pay their dues directly in that way instead of through the unions. The act of 1927 is resented by the Labor Party, which is pledged to the repeal of the act; when the party returned to power in 1929 it did not have a majority in Parliament and did not succeed either in repealing the act or in obtaining acceptable amendments.
42. By the Police Act of 1919 membership in a trade-union was prohibited to a policeman; and, by the act of 1927, "established civil
servants" are forbidden, with minor exceptions (for which see appendix B), to belong to a trade-union affiliated with trade unions outside the civil service. The prohibition does not extend to industrial employees of the Government, or to municipal employees. The act of 1927 prohibits local or other public authorities from making union membership a condition of employment or a ground for discrimination.
(5) Registered and unregistered unions and certification.
43. The act of 1871 prohibits the registration of trade-unions under the Companies Act; in other words, they cannot be incorporated. Voluntary registration of trade-unions was provided for under the Trade-Union Act of 1871, and voluntary certification in lieu of registration by the Trade-Union Act of 1913.
44. The principal benefit of registration is that it enables a tradeunion to carry on its affairs through a board of trustees that has continuing existence; and the most considerable further benefit is a limited exemption from taxation of its benefit funds. The major obligation of a registered union is to file with the registrar an annual account of its general funds (as well as its political funds, for which every trade union must account, whether registered or not); and the most important further obligation is to file with the registrar a copy of its rules, which must state the name and objects of the union and the provisions for benefits, for fines and forfeitures, and for amending the rules; and which must include provision for appointment and removal of trustees and officers, for the investment of funds, for an annual audit, and for inspection of its books and names of members, by every person having an interest in its funds. The registrar functions only administratively, to see that the rules do in fact contain such provisions. Beyond this he has no power to require any particular form of organization, or to supervise the conduct of a trade-union.
45. An unregistered trade-union has neither these benefits nor obligations. Under the 1871 act it has legal status, but must sue or be sued by a more cumbersome procedure.
46. The benefit of certification in lieu of registration is that a certificate is convenient and conclusive legal evidence that the certified union is a trade-union and is therefore entitled to the immunities from suit granted by sections 1 and 2 of the 1871 act and by the Trade Union Act of 1906. Certification, like registration, is not required, and certified unions are not required to file copies of their rules or accounts, except their political accounts.
47. At the end of 1935 less than half the trade-unions were registered, but those contained about three-quarters of the total union membership in Great Britain.12 One national union, whose officials we met with, had registered and later withdrawn from registration; nonregistration involved the payment of 200 or 300 additional pounds a year of taxes on the income from the union's benefit fund, but it was content to pay this amount in return for what it regarded as the greater convenience of being unregistered. The fact of regis tration or nonregistration is a matter of no interest to employers; and unions, whether registered or unregistered, are authorized by the Government to assist in the administration of the unemployment.
insurance law, provided they maintain their own employment exchanges or branch offices to which unemployed men in the particular industry may be sent to get their payments, and provided that they also have their own unemployment benefit plans and pay out certain minimum amounts therefor.
(f) GOVERNMENTAL AGENCIES
48. The British Government has taken for many years an active part in the voluntary arbitration and conciliation of industrial disputes and in furthering the establishment and growth of joint industrial councils.
49. Arbitration.-The Minister of Labor, as we have noted, is sometimes called upon under the provisions of collective agreements to appoint impartial arbitrators or chairmen, and for this purpose the Ministry maintains a panel of qualified and experienced citizens who are willing, when called upon, to serve in such capacities. The existence of this panel, with its known composition, accounts in part for the confidence with which clauses of the sort described are incorporated, here and there, in agreements.
50. Conciliation.-The Ministry also, pursuant to the provisions of the Conciliation Act of 1896, maintains a staff of full-time trained conciliators, with divisional offices in Bristol, Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester, and Glasgow. Their duty is to keep intimately in touch with industrial conditions in the areas which they cover, to anticipate trouble and if possible forestall it, and to shorten it as best they can when it comes. They have no power, and their success depends on their skill in conciliation.
51. The Industrial Court.-By the Industrial Courts Act of 1919 a permanent industrial court was created to decide controversies submitted to it by the Minister of Labor with the consent of both parties, after (and only after) any existing joint machinery for settlement had failed. By statute the Minister of Labor appoints the members, representing industry, labor, and the public. As has been stated, we attended a session of the court and conferred with its members. They informed us that the court is now handling about two cases a week.13 Most of these are heard in London, but the court can and frequently does move to other centers.
52. Many of the cases, referred jointly by national organizations of employers and workers, have involved the determination of national wage rates; other cases have involved a particular locality, or even a single plant. Unless otherwise agreed, the court's awards are not binding; but they are generally accepted. They are expressed in the form of decisions, with a full statement of the rival arguments but without an opinion. The absence of opinions has been occasioned by the desire of both sides in some industries to avoid the application of precedents to their disputes. The result has been to avoid, rather than to foster, the development of a body of industrial case-law.
53. Courts of inquiry.-The act of 1919 also authorized the Minister of Labor, in any industrial dispute, to appoint a Court of Inquiry to make an investigation and report, the report to be laid before both Houses of Parliament. This authority has been exercised only in