North Carolina Newspapers

    Editorial
CHARLOTTE LABOR JOURNAL & DIXIE FARM N^WS
Published Weekly st Charlotte. N. C._____
Address All Communications to Post Office Bo* 1061
Telephones 3-3094 and 4-5502
Office of Publication: 118 East S$*th Street. Charlotte. N. C.
A. Stalls. Editor and Publisher
Editor
Cast Sixth Street, Charlotte. N. <
«er ’ 'jffT'4, Witter, Associate
httred as tecond-class mail matter thj Pott
Office at Charlotte, N. C., under the Act of Congress of March 3, 1879
SUBSCRIPTION RATES: 82.00 per year, payable In advance or
ADVERTISING RATES for commercial sdvertiiHng reasonable.
Official firgin af the Charlotte Central Labor Union and Approved by
The American Federation • of Labor and the
. - North Carolina Federation of Labor__
The Labor Journal will not be responsible for opinions of.corre
spondents. but any erroneous reflecting upon the character, standing or
reputation of any person, firm or eo.-poration which may appear “
the columns of The Labor Journal will be gladly corrected when _ealled
attention at toe publisher. Correspondence and Open Forum
— solicited. ...
OLDEST U. S. LABOR UfcllON ASSAILS PUNITIVE
MEASURES
In an “open letter to Congress,” published in a two
column advertisement, America's oldest labor union—the
Columbia Typographical Unipn No. 101 (AFL), demanded
that Congress “get all the facts” before acting on punitive
labor bills now confronting its committees.
The advertisement, which speaks for itself, declared:
“Since January 7, 1815, this labor union has functioned
in the Nation’s Capital, and in the 182 years of this union’s
continuous existence its members have been involved in
only four strikes—none jurisdictional.
“Under its own union laws, the members of America’*
oldest labor union: ' _
“(1) Require a three-fourths vote by secret ballot of
members in good standing for at least six months before
a strike can be authorised, and all members must be given
reasonable notice such a strike vote is to be taken. A
majority vote by secret ballot can call off any strike:
“(2) Require that itemized financial statements be pub
lished every 90 days, after union and C. P. A. audit of
same; monthly financial statements are published by the
national officials;
“(3) Require ueferenauim election oi its omcers, umuu
auditors and convention delegates;
“(4) Require that foremen and simliar supervisory
printers be members of the union, but are unhampered in
the issuance of job instructions.
“This labor union originated the “closed-shop” idea in
America by adopting, in 1842, a resolution prohibiting its
members from working with non-members. This policy
has been in effect for 96 years without a serious objecttion
by management! Our apprenticeship training standards
would be seriously impaired under “open shop” conditions,
and GI job training undermined.
“Since 1892 our members on Washington newspapers
have had the 7-hour day, and since 1933 the 35-hour work
week. by agreement of management. I
“If America’s oldest laboV union can function success
fully for 132 years right here in Washington^ D. C.—and
grow from 19 members in 1815 to 3,200 today—with less
than 10 per cent of this time covered by the Wagner
Act— '
If this labor union can raise the economic level of its
members from 89 per 60-hour week In 1815 to 82.20 per
hour today for a 85-hour week fon4>. C. newspaper printers
with only four strikes in 132 years—
“Certainly, if this union can voluntarily compile such a
132-year record, without mandatory federal legislation,
then it can be done!
“If there must be new labor laws, or old laws amended,
the 80th Congress should keep in mind that there are dif
ferent banking laws for national banks than for savings
banks, and that the legislation governing Are insurance is
different than that for life insurance. Why should there
be only one labor law for all labor? There are at least
three kinds of labor—seasonal, tenure and industrial.
“Congress should get 'all the facts, and give labor the
same consideration as was given the hankers and insurance
people.
“Any labor union that can function successfully and con
tinuously for 132 years, and survive six American wars,
should be a good example to follow—pot less seasoned
unions.
“We have had only four strikes in 132 years of labor
union existence—any new federal law or Amendment which
would cause or result in more strikes is nb remedy for in
dustrial strife!
Your presence is very necessary at your Central Labor
Union meetings. .
SWUNG CLEANING
HIGHLIGHTS OP COURTS
RULING ON MINERS’
CONTEMPT CASE
Washington. D. C.—-The major
ity opinion of the United States
Supreme Coart was that the Gov
ernment can fight strikes with
court orders although the Norria
LaGuardia Act says that the Fed
eral courts shall not issue injunc
tions or restraining order in la
bor disputes. The court found
that this act does not apply when
the Government, acting in its sov
ereign capacity, seeks an injunc
tion.
Chief Justice Vinson and Jus
tices Black, Reed, Douglas and
Burton made this ruling.
There could not have been an
injunction in the coal case, Vin
son said, if the dispute had been
between the miners and private
employers. But the Chief Justice,
fodbd that Congress never In-j
tended the acts to apply to the
government. |
There is a rule of law' that no
act cair take away any of the
rights and powers of the sover
eign unless It does so directly.
General words — no matter how
broad—will not reach the Gov
ernment, Vinson declared.
Congress must have known of
this rule, Vinson said, so that if,
it had jpeant the Norris • La
Guard ia Act to apply to the Gov
eminent it would have , said so.
And since it did not say so, the,
act does not apply. He added:
“It is clear that workers in the
mines seised by the Government
under the authority of the War
Labor Disputes Act stand in an
entirely different relationship to |
the Federal Government with re
spect to tl^eir employment from
that which existed before the seiz
ure was effected.
“We do not find convincing the
contention of the defendants that
in seising and operating the coal
mines the Government was not
exercising a sovereign function |
and that, hence, this is not a sit
uation which can be excluded j
from the terms of the Norris-La
Guardia Act.”
On the question of fines, Vin
son said:
“Sentences for criminal intent
are punitive in their Mature and
jre imposed for the purpose of
vindicating the authority of the
court. The interests of orderly
government demand that respect
and compliance be given to orders
issued by courts possessed of ju
risdiction of persons and subject
matter.
“On* who denes the public
authority and willfully refuses
his obedience, does so at his per
il. In imposing a fine for crim
inal contempt, the trial judge may
properly take into consideration
the extent of the wiilful and de
liberate defiance of the court’s
order, the seriousness of the con
sequences of the contumacious be
havior, the necessity of effectively
tm-minating the defendant’s defi
ance as required by the public
interest, and the importance of
deterring such acts in the future.
Because of the nature of these
standards, great reliance must be
placed upon the discretion of the
trial judge.
“The trial court properly found
the defendants guilty of criminal
contempt.” '
Although Vinson reported • in
the opinion that the majority of
the court felt that the 110,000
fine imposed upon Lewis was war
ranted, he declared a majority of
the coart did not so regard "the
unconditional imposition of a fine
of $3300,000 against the union.”
Declaring that a majority of
the court felt that a lesser fine
should be assessed against the
union, he added:
"Accordingly, the judgment
against the defendant union is
held to be excessive. It will be
modified so as to require the un
ion to pay a fine of $700,000 and
further to pay an additional fine
of $2300,000 unless the defendant
union,' within five days after the
issuance of the mandate herein,
shows that it has complied with
the temporary restraining order
issued November 18, 104$, and the
preliminary injunction issued De
cember 4, 1946.
"We well realize the serious
proportions of the fines here im
posed upon the union. But a
majority feels that the course
taken by the union carried with
it such a serious threat to orderly
constitutional government, and to
the economic and social welfare
of the nation, that a fine of sub
stantial size is required in order
to emphasize the gravity of the
offense of which the uniop is
found gulty.”
"Loyalty in responding to'the
orders of their leader may, in
some minds, minimize the gravity
HOLD OH TO yoim
50 c lALSECURfTy CARD
.AS?
°f **§!(!!to
XXI MW NEED IT AT ONCE
U/UCM Vni I START WORK ON A NEW JOB**
WHtN lUUFHifWSOCtAlJttURUySfNtfiTS.
for More Information
Consult Your Union Social Securitn Co^mitte£/
Ol\ tWe Nearest Social Secu' .tu Office.
of the miner*’ conduct; bnt tee
cannot ignore the -effect of their
action upon the right* of other
citizens, of the effect of their
action upon our system of gov
ernment.”
Washington, D. C.—Severs] mi
nority opinions were filed on va
rious points in pie Supreme
Court decision in the coal case
although only two Justices —
Murphy and Rutledge—dissented
from the entire verdict.
The major question of general
applicability to all of organised
labor in the case was whether tpe
Norris-La-guardia Act barred the
Government from obtaining an
injunction against the union. Four
Justices dissented from the ma
jority view that the Government
is not barred.
Justice Frankfurter said the
Congress had taken away . from
the courts the power to grant in
junctions in labor disputes, ex
cept under circumstances that did
not figure in the coal case. The
qlestion up to the court then,
Frankfurter said, is whether the
coal case grew out of a labor dis
pute. He quoted the Norris-La
Guardia Act:
“The term ‘labor dispute’ in
cludes any controversy concerning
terms or conditions of employ
ment—regardless of whether or
not the disputants stand in the
proximate /elation of employer
and employe.”
From these words, Frankfurter
said, it was plain that the coal
case was a labor dispute.
“The court deems it appropriate
to interpolate an exception re
garding labor disputes in which
the Government is a party,” he
commented. "It invokes a canon
of construction according to which
the Government is excluded from
the operation of general statutes
■■less it. ii ncluded by explici
language.
"The Norris-Lauuardia Act has
specific origins and definite pur
poses and should not be confined
by an artificial canon of construc
tion. The title of the act gives
its scope Snd purpose, and the
terms of the act justify its title.
It is an act ‘to dene and limit
the jurisdiction of the courts sit
ting in equity."
Justice Murphy said the impli
cations of the decision cast •
dark cloud over the future of la
bor relations in the United States.
Murphy said the court was
right in taking account of the
crisis in which the coal case was
tried, but he said that factor did
no justify “tKe conversion of the
judicial process into a weapon for
misapplying statutes."
He said also that "a judicial
disregard of what Congress had
decreed may seem justified in
view of the crisis which gave
birth to this case. But such a
disregard may ultimately have
more disastrous and lasting ef
fects upon the economy of the
Nation than any action of an ag
gressive labor leader in disobeying
a void court order.
“The crux of this case is
whether the fact that the Govern
ment took over the possession and
operation of the mines changed
the private character of the un
derlying labor dispute between the
operators and the miners so as
to make inapplicable the Norris
LaGuardia Act. The answer is
clear. In my opinion the miners
remained private employee despite
the temporary gloss of Govern
ment possession and operation of
the mines; they bear no resem
blance whatever to employes at
the Executive Departments, the
independent agencies and the
other branches of the Govern
ment.”
Justice Rutledge found the
$700,000 fine excessive and called
it an unlawful mixing of civil and
criminal penalties. Moreover, he
said, it is the District Court’s job
to fix the punishment for criminal
contempt and all the Supreme
Court is supposed to do is to say
RUHR VALUE IF
BUUDH6 11 CITIES
REICHES RECORD
Washington, D. C.—The dollar
value at city building construction
reached a 17-year high in 1946,
according to preliminary estimates
of the Bureau of Labor Statis
tics, U. S. Department of Labor.
Permits issued (and Federal con
tracts awarded) for building con
struction in all urban places were
valued at 64,700,000,00 last year
—more than double the 1945 total
and the greatset dollar volume
reported since the 1920’s. In part
this high level i^ due to current
high construction coasts.
The largest part of the gain
over 1945 was accounted for by
residential construction, which
rose from $769 million to 62,442
million. Nonresidential building,
although restricted by control
orders, advanced 70 per cent to
61.5 billion; additions, alterations,
and repairs rose only slightly to
6765 million.
The fact that home construc
tion accounted for more than half
the total dollar volume in ’ 1946
while nonreaidential building rep
resented less than a third is at
tributable primarly to the issu
ance of Veterans’ Housng Pro
gram Order NoJ 1 (the construc
tion limitation order) on March
26. Prior to that date, nonresi
dential projects, particularly com
mericial and industrial building,
were surging ahead M housing.
Urban valuations hit an all
time monthly high of $742 million
in March, 1946, as many builderes
hastened to get work strated on
higher priced homes and non
housing construction before con
trols went into effect. In April,
after the limitation order wag in
operation, the total valuation fig
ure plummeted to $4S3 million.
AFL TEAMSTERS EXPANDED
New Orleans, La.—AFL Team
sters here have organised the
drivers of the Kboolman and
Sugarman Wholesale Food Prod
ucts. *
whether the fine imposed is ex
cessive.
Rutledge did not suggest that
the great public interest in the
case has swayed the majority, but
he did open his long dissenting
opinion with the admonition that
the judgment of the court ought
not to be affected by such a thing.
Rutldege reminded the majority
that if Lewis and the U. M. W«
had been indicted and tried* by a
jury for striking against the War
Labor Disputes Act. the most they
could have been fined was $6,000
apiece, although in that ease Mr.
Lewis might have been jailed for
a year.
Justice Jackson, too, believed
the Norris- LaGuardia Act for
bade injunction being issued by
the Government Jp labor cases,
but he did not file a dissenting
opinion.
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