This section is from the book "The Law Of Contracts", by William Herbert Page. Also available from Amazon: Commercial Contracts: A Practical Guide to Deals, Contracts, Agreements and Promises.
The action may be brought by the employer whose business is threatened. The threatened strike, or boycott, mav be intended to compel him to acquiesce in certain arrangements for remuneration, hours of labor, and the like; or to compel him to employ only members of the union, and in this last case the employer is occasionally in no way really involved, since the real conflict is between rival unions, although the employer is likely to be one of the real victims. The remedy of injunction is often sought in such cases, as if it can be obtained it is the most efficient remedy for preventing a wreck of business. No injunction can be given against a mere strike, if peaceable and not connected with a boycott.1 Injunction has, however, been granted restraining employes from interfering with the performance of a contract on the part of their employer, though such interference was peaceable, where the employes did not quit work in good faith.2 Whether an injunction can be given against a systematic attempt to induce other persons to refrain from future business relations with the party seeking relief, as long as no violence is used, is a question upon which there is some conflict of authority. In some states it is held that an injunction will be given,3 or that such conduct is criminal.4 In other states such conduct is held to be a mere exercise of the employees' right of free speech in telling of their grievances ; and such conduct will not be enjoined.5 If actual violence exists or is threatened, a different principle applies. An injunction will be given against strikers who use violence to prevent other workmen from taking their places with their former employer.6 A method often employed by strikers is what is known as "picketing," which consists in stationing persons to meet at points where they can intercept me new workmen of the employers, and observe who continue work. If violence exists as a result of such picketing,7 whether violence of the strikers,8 or violence of those in sympathy with them,9 which the officers of the strikers do not restrain,10 an injunction will be given. It has been held that no actual force need be used if there is an apparent display of force,11 since threats may be implied as well as expressed,12 and that if the new workmen are unwilling to stop to discuss questions of their continuing in employment with the pickets or strikers, the act of the strikers in insisting on continuing such discussion is such annoyance as will be enjoined. So strikers will be enjoined from taking up the time of the new workmen during the hours of their employment, to discuss with them the question of their quitting work.13 Whether, if none of these acts are found to exist, an injunction can be given against picketing, is a question upon which there is some conflict of authority. In some states it has been held that a peaceful picketing is the only available method by which the strikers can state their grievances, use arguments to induce others to co-operate with them, and that this is accordingly a mere exercise of the right of free speech. Where such view is taken, peaceful picketing is not enjoined.14 In other jurisdictions it is held that every person has a right to have labor flow freely to him, and that an organized effort to prevent this is a wrong against which he may have an injunction. Where this view is taken, even peaceable picketing will lie enjoined. Accordingly, some courts seem to take the view that a threat of strike, and a boycott without any threat of violence, but merely stating that the employer will be left off the fair list, will be enjoined, since such threat ultimately involves the violence which the court looks upon as the necessary concomitant of a strike, and interruption of business which is necessarily involved in a boycott.15 Associations of employes may also be enjoined from ordering,16 or soliciting,17 employes under contract to break their contracts.
5 National Protective Union v. dimming. 170 X. Y. 315: 88 Am. St. Rep. 64S: 58 L. R. A. 135; 63 N. E. 369. (Three judges dissenting.) (Distinguishing Curran v. Galen. 152 N. Y. 33: 57 Am. Bt Rep. 496: 37 L. R. A. S02: 46 N. E. 207. as a case in which the discharge was caused by threats and use of false reports.) The same view was expressed in Jersey City Printing Co. v. Cassidy. 63 X. J. Eq. 759 : 53 Atl. 230. where the employer sought an injunction while the right to strike to cause of discharge of non-union men was recognized, injunction was granted, as violence was employed.
6 170 X. Y. 315: 88 Am. St. Rep. 648; 58 L. R. A. 135; 63 N. E. 369.
7See Sec. 1325. 1331.
1 Wabash Ry. v. Hannahan, 121 Fed. 563.
2In re Lennon, 166 U. S. 548.
3 Beck v. Protective Union, 118 Mich. 497; 74 Am. St. Eep. 421; 42 L. R. A. 407; 77 N. W. 13; Barr v. Trades' Council, 53 N. J. Eq. 101, 111; 30 Atl. 881, 884; Martin v. McFall, - - N. J. Eq. - ; 55 Atl. 465; Longshore Printing Co. v. Howell, 26 Or. 527; 46 Am. St. Rep. 640; 28 L. R. A. 464; 38 Pac. 547; Erdman v. Mitchell, 207 Pa. St. 79; 63 L. R. A. 534; 56 Atl. 327.
4 State v. Gliden, 55 Conn. 46; 3 Am. St. Rep. 23; 8 Atl. 890.
5 Marx, etc., Co. v. Watson, 168 Mo. 133; 90 Am. St. Rep. 440; 56 L. R. A. 951; 67 S. W. 391; Atkins v. Fletcher Co., - N. J. Eq. -; 55 Atl. 1074.
6Taff Vale Ry. v. Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants (1901), A. C. 426; Underhill v. Murphy, - Ky. - ; 78 S. W. 482; Vegelahn v. Gunter, 167 Mass. 92; 57 Am. St. Rep. 443; 35 L. R. A. 772; 44 N". E. 1077; Beck v. Protective Union,
118 Mich. 497; 74 Am. St. Rep. 421; 42 L. R. A. 407; 77 N. W. 13; Hamilton Brown Shoe Co. v. Saxey, 131 Mo. 212; 52 Am. St. Rep. 622; 32 S. W. 1106; Jersey City Printing Co. v. Cassidy, 63 N. J. Eq. 759; 53 Atl. 230.
7 Allis-Chalmers Co. v. Reliable Lodge, 111 Fed. 264; Southern Ry. v. Machinists' Local Union, 111 Fed. 49; Vegelahn v. Gunter, 167 Mass. 92; 57 Am. St. Rep. 443; 35 L. R. A. 772; 44 N. E. 1077; Hamilton Brown Shoe Co. v. Saxey, 131 Mo. 212; 52 Am. St. Rep. 622; 32 S. W. 1106; Murdock v. Walker, 152 Pa. St. 595; 34 Am. St. Rep. 678; 25 Atl. 492.
8 See cases cited in the preceding note.
9 Southern Ry. v. Machinists' Local Union, 111 Fed. 49.
10 Union Pacific Ry. v. Ruef, 120 Fed. 102.
11 Otis Steel Co. v. Iron Molders' Union, 110 Fed. 698; Beck v. Protective Union, 118 Mich. 497; 74 Am. St. Rep. 421; 42 L. R. A. 407; 77 N. W. 13; O'Neil v. Behanna, 182 Pa. St. 236; 61 Am. St. Rep. 702; 38 L. R. A. 382; 37 Atl. 843.
12"Threats in language are not the only threats recognized by the law. Covert and unspoken threats may be just as effective as spoken threats." Beck v. Protective Union, 118 Mich. 497, 519; 74 Am. St. Rep. 421; 42 L. R. A. 407; 77 N. W. 13.
13 O'Neil v. Behanna, 182 Pa. St. 236; 61 Am. St. Rep. 702; 38 L, R, A. 382; 37 Atl. 843.