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Why Organized Labor
Hates Injunctions
Secretary-treasurer of the
American Federation of Labor
The following excerpts from an
article appearing in the current
issue of the American Federation
ist sum up labor’s stand against
the iniquitous procedure of gov
ernment by injunction:
There are many features em
bodied in the Taft-Hartiey Act
which are obnoxious and which
have caused millions of fair-mind
ed citizens, apart from the mem
bers of organized labor, to decide
that this statute must be eliminat
ed as quickly as possible.
Of all the distasteful provisions
of the Taft-Hartley Act, there is
one which stands forth as partic
ularly vicious. This is the provision
under which government by in
junction, one of the foremost evils
recorded in American history of
the late 19th and early 20th Cen
turies, has been brought back to
Why is it that labor hates the
injunction process? Is labor's at
titude toward injunctions the result
of some inexplicable emotion? Or
is there a good reason—or many
good reasons—for labors resent
ment of the injunction? Why does
labor feel the way it does?
In order to understand why
American labor will never accept
the employment of judicial injunc
tions in labor-management contro
versies, it is necessary to dip back
into history.
The most fundamental principle
of our American governmental
process is that the laws are written
solely by the legislative represen
tatives of the people—in other
words, by men and women sitting
in Congress and the state legisla
tures who have beep elected by
^ the people. As a corollary of ftiis
principle, there (s the rule Chat
the law-making prerogative^nust
never be usurped—not even- to an
infinitesimal degree—by the
It is also important to recall |
that the Constitution under which 1
we live guarantees to each one of
us certain rights—rights which
are most precious and which are
not to be set aside or nullified
either by Congress or by a judge
or by any other person or institu
tion. These rights are freedom of
speech, freedom of assemblage,
freedom of the press and freedom
of religion.
Nowhere does the Constitution
speak of any right to issue in
junctions to throttle the afore
mentioned freedoms and to crush
the lawful associations which wage
earners form to protect themselves
against the arbitrary, brutal acts
of greedy and ruthless employers.
There is no such right under the
Constitution—but in the latter
part of the 19th Century and for
the first 3 decades of the present
century a flood of antilabor in
junctions, compelling workers to
desist from the exercise of freedom
of speech, freedom of assemblage
and freedom of the press, poured
from th courts of the nation.
Equal justice under law is a
concept which- may be regarded as
the very cornerstone of our de
mocracy. But in the half century
of the antilabor injunction’s heyday
this principle was constantly flout
ed by the courts themselves. In
stead of equal justice under law.
the judges’ writs of injunction
represented unequal justice under
an absence of law.
It takes little imagination to
appreciate the jubilation of the
mighty antiunion barons when they
discovered that their dirty work
was gladly performed for them by
lawless judges. The Fricks and
the Pullmans, whose aim was to j
block any betterment of the work- j
ers’ conditions but to smash and
destroy the workers’ unions, slash
ed wages, fired union members, did
everything imaginable to provoke
their employes to strike action
and then they sent their lawyers
into court.
The corporation’s attorney would
pull out of his pocket a sweeping
injunction against the workers.
The document would be all ready
for the judge. Usually the judge
would affix his signature without
the change of a comma. The in
junction would go into effect. Im
mediately the news would be
(Continued on Page S)
Charlotte's Family
Income Was $6,882
For the Year 1948
Charlotte’s per family income in
1948 was estimated at $6,882 as
compared with the national family
average of $5,531, according to
“Sale) Management” magaiine’s
Survey of Buying Power out today.
Among the 200 largest cities in
the country, Charlotte ranks sixth
in per family buying income. Net
buying income includes all income
payments to individuals after the
deduction of Federal income taxes
The per family income for this
city is $318 higher than it was in
The survey shows that Char
lotte’s population is 110,900, an in
crease of 10,000 people over the
last U.S. census in 1940. Total re
tail sales for 1948 here were $187,
150.000, food sales $30,319,000, gen
eral merchandise sales $34,989,000,
drug sales $51,952,000, and furni
ture-household-radio sales $17,297,
High buying power among the
city’s families is reflected by the
fact that retail sales per family
were $5,086, a figure 62 per cent
higher than the national average
of $3,131 per family. In 1948 the
family units increased in Charlotte
by 18 per cent over the 1947 per-,
The "Quality at Market Index”
in the survey shows that Charlotte
is rated 35 per cent above average
for its population. This is regarded
as important in business circles
where the “Sales Management”
survey is used by national sales
organisations to set sales quotas,
apportion advertising dollars and
build new plants. — Charlotte Ob
server, May 11.
Not A Land of
Millt And Honey
During one of the most prosper
ous years in our history, 18 million
families in the United States earn
ed less than $3,000. This is some
1275 under the figure set by the
U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
as the minimum for purchasing
the bare necessities to keep a fam
ily of four comfortable and in good
In the Bureau of Census report
for the year 1947 it was shown
that one million families earned
110,000 or more. This group includ
ed manufacturers and other bus
iness people who really got into
the big profits in 1947. From top
to bottom the average was $3,000.
\bout one-half was below average.
Generally there is only one per
son per family receiving income in
the upper group, but it was neces
sary in one-third of the 18 million
families at the bottom for more
than one member of the family to
ivork in order to bring the average
jp to $3,000.
Following is the family break
iown of incomes announced by the
Bureau of Census:
4 million families received under1
6 million, $1,000-$2,000.
8 million. $2,000-$3,000.
8 million. $3,000-$4,000.
4 million, $4,000-$5,000.
3 million, $5,000-$6,000.
3 million, $6,000-$10,000.
1 million, $10,000 or more.
New York.—Edward Molisani.
rice president of the International
Ladies Garment Workers Union,
received an award from the Italian
government for hia part in raising
11,000,000 for relief work in Italy.
He was presented with the Star
of Solidarity, the most prized med
al conferred by Italy upon noncit
izens, by Italian Ambassador Al
berto Tarchiano.
Accepting the award, Molisani,
who is manager of the Italian
Cloak Makers Union, Local 48,
pledged his union to continue
Italian aid. He said:
“The war years have created in
us a deep realisation of the fact
that each and every one of ns is
his brother’s keeper.”
Labor Journal Editors Extend Thanks
Editor and Publisher
Pictured below are two of
Charlotte’s modern stream
lined business establishments
which stand as monuments
to the skill of Charlotte
Building: Trades Unions. On
another page is a picture of
the Sears Roebuck Co. new
building which was recently
completed on North Tryon
street. The Sears structure
was erected entirely by union
building tradesmen.
W. M. WITTER, Associate Editor
At his desk in the editorial office, busily engaged in pre
paring reading material for this issue of The Labcr Journal
is W. M. Witter, associate editor. Mr. Witter, together
with Henry A. Stalls, upper left, present editor and pub
lisher. founded The Journal 19 years ago, and he experi
enced many tough battles during his active years as this
newspaper’s editor and publisher before retiring to lighter
duties a few years ago. Although now 75 years of age
Brother Witter’s mind is as alert as it was during the cru
sading years gone by. He likes to see and chat with old
friends and his office is always open to welcome them.
Mr. Witter joins The Journal’s editor and publisher in
thanking this newspaper’s friends for their loyal support
.throughout the years and especially for their contributions
toward making this issue of the Journal the largest in the
newspaper’s entire history.
Truman, Green Plan
Ultimate T-H Repeal
WASHINGTON.—President Truman pledged a continu
ing fight for repeal of the Taft-Hartley law during all four
years of his Administration, if necessary'.
The Chief Executive thus backed up AFL President Wil
liam Green who praised the action of the House in sending
the Wood bill t>ack to the labor committee by the narrow
margin of three votes, declaring that such action means
“the death of the hypocritical measure.’’
Mr. Truman told reporters at his regular press confer
ence that defeat of the Wood bill, termed by organized
labor as worse than the Taft-Hartley law, was a victory
for the Democratic Administration. He said the House’s
action afforded the opportunity for it to start from scratch
again and pass legislation which would be acceptable.
Election Day
Would Be A
Noll. Holiday
Christmas, Labor Day, New
Year’s and Thanksgiving are all
National Holidays. The AFL and
LLPE have consistently demanded
that National Election Days every
two years should also be made a
National Holiday so that the work
ing people of the nation could get
to the polls. Representative J Hugh
B. Mitchell, pro-labor Democrat
from Washington, introduced such
a bill at the opening of this Con
gress. The Judjciary Committee of
the House of Repi esentatives held
hearings on Mitchell’s bill last
Friday, March Uth. If Representa
tives and Senators are interested
in continuing and strengthening
our Democratic way of life, they
will get behind this bill and see
that it is passed this session.
Representative Mitchell’s case is
typical. Here’s what happened in
his district:
.The majority of workiuf people
st. yed on their jobs during the
day and than jammed the polling
places after working time. Wh#n
the polls closed at eight o’clock
thousands who were waiting in
line were unable to cast their bal
lots. Some nations make voting
compulsory or hold elections on
Sunday. But the American tra
dition is to hold national elactioes
on the first Tuesday after the first
Monday in November. As a result
it is typicpl for less than Itailf of
the potential voters to elect our
President and Congressmen. For
the preservation of truly repre
sentative government, election day
should be made a holiday so that
the majority not the minority will
choose our lawmakers.
If you worked all day last No
vember 2nd, and didn’t get s
chance to vote, write your Con
gressman urging passage of HR
The President s views on the
developments coincided with a
statement issued by Mr. Green
which said:
•‘The vote in the House of
Representatives to recommit the
Wood bill means the death of the
hypocritical measure and affords
the House Labor Committee an
opportunity to make a new start
in drafting legislation to repeal
the Taft-Hartley law.
“Meanwhile, organized labor
awaits action by the Senate on
the Thomas bill.
“We want Congress to- know
that repeal of the Taft-Hartley
law is our firm objective and we
will continue to fight for it no
matter how prolonged or diffi
cult the struggle.”
Mr. Truman denied that action
by the House had convinced him
that he would be forced to make
concessions on labor legislation.
He said he would do whatever ia
necessary to get a labor bill
through Congress and added that
His position of} labor legislation
has not rhanged.
In repl/ to a reporter** ques
tion on whether he war^: sitting
on a specific Mil, the President
said he wanted the Democrats in
Congress to carry out the prom
ises they made in the Democratic
platform just as he was trying
to carry out his.
Mr. Truman declined to say
what he thought about the Sims
bill, the substitute measure of
fered by some Democrats in the
House when the Lesinski bill was
doomed by a coalition of Repub
licans and southern Democrats.
The Sims measure was defeated
by labor foes who rammed
through the Wood bill only to
have it recommended later by a
vote of 212 to 209. This final
vote leaves t up to the House
Labor Committee to initiate
further actoin on labor legisla
Representative* John Lesinski
of Michigan said he hoped the
committee, of which he ia chair
man, would start work on a new
bill in about a week. He said
the bill could be completed in a
period of 3 or 4 weeks.
Meanwhile, consideration of la
bor legislation in the Senate was
bogged down in a legislative
schedule already running far be
hind due to the usual log-jam of
appropriations measures. It is
expected that action will not be
forthcoming for • montn or so.
Labor’s foes in the Senate are
gathering their forces to keep
anti-labor legislation on the books.
Senator Robert A. Ml intro
duced a bill as a subetftote for
the Thoms bill, approved by the
Senate Labor Committee, drawn
along the lines of the Wood bill
which retains most of the ob
noxious Taft-Hartley law.
The street musician was tired,
and the motorist agreed to give
him a lift to the next town.
As they were racing along at
a terrific speed down a hill, the
motorist suddenly shouted above
the noise of the car: “What in
strument do you play?
The musician shouted back:
The driver croucned over the
steering wheel peering ahead. He
yelled: “That’s a pity.”
“Why is it a pity?” demanded
the musician.
“It’s a pity you don’t play the
harp", yelled the motorist “The

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