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.
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 the new workmen of the employers, and observe who continue work, or where they can observe the customers of the person whose place of business is "picketed." If violence exists as a result of such picketing,1 whether violence of the strikers,2 or violence of those in sympathy with them,3 which the officers of the strikers do not restrain,4 an injunction will be given. It has been held that no actual force need be used if there is an apparent display of force,5 since threats may be implied as well as expressed,6 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.7
In some jurisdictions it is held that the very nature of picketing implies unlawful coercion, and that peaceful picketing does not exist.8 Injunction will lie to prevent the picketing of a grocery store and stationing banners near it, denouncing it as an unfair business and asking persons not to patronize it.9 If no strike exists and an attempt is made to picket a store to coerce the employer to compel his employes to join the union or else to discharge them, injunction will lie.10
1 Southern Ry. v. Machinists' Local Union. 111 Fed. 49; Allis-Chalmers Co. v. Reliable Lodge, 111 Fed. 264; Vege-lahn 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.
2 See cases cited in the preceding note.
3 Southern Ry. v. Machinists' Local Union, 111 Fed. 49.
4 Union Pacific Ry. v. Ruef, 120 Fed. 102.
5Otis 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, 17 Atl. 843.
6 "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.
7 O'Neil v. Behanna, 182 Pa. St. 236, 61 Am. St. Rep. 702, 38 L. R. A. 382, 37 Atl. 843.
8 Pierce v. Stablemen's Union, 156 Cal. 70, 103 Pac. 324; Moore v. Cooks', Waiters' and Waitresses' Union, - Cal. App. - , 179 Pac. 417; Barnes & Co. v. Chicago Typographical Union, 232 111. 424, 14 L. R. A. (N.S.) 1018, 13 Am. & Eng. Ann. Cas. 54, 83 N. E. 940; Hall v. Johnson, 87 Or. 21, 169 Pac. 515; St. Germain v. Bakery. etc., Union, 97 Wash. 282, L. R. A. 1917F, 824, 166 Pac. 665. "Peaceful picketing! There is no such thing, if the term is intended to apply to the facts as they are shown to be by the record in the case at bar. We are in full accord with the doctrine enunciated in the case of Atchinson v. Gee (C.C.) 139 Fed. 682, where it is held that 'there is and can be no such thing as peaceful picketing, any more than there can be chaste vulgarity, or peaceful mobbing, or lawful lynching.' After an exhaustive examination of the decisions of this and other jurisdictions, we are of the opinion that the doctrine laid down by the appellate tribunals of this state is supported by the weight of authority throughout the union; but, regardless of that fact, the point involved in this case has been so often decided, and that adversely to the contentions of appellants here - as is evidenced by the following decisions: Goldberg v. Stablemen's Union, 140 Cal. 429, 86 Pac. 806, 8 L. R. A. (N.S.) 460, 117 Am. St. Rep. 145, 9 Ann. Cas. 1219? Parkinson v. Building Trades' Council, 154 Cal. 581, 98 Pac. 1027, 21 L. R..A. (N.S.) 550; Pierce v. Stablemen's Union, 156 Cal. 70, 103 Pac. 324; Berger v. Superior Court, 175 Cal. 719, 167 Pac. 143 - that it would be useless to cite further authorities. In the Berger case the supreme court supported the same doctrine, but refused to support the conclusion of the trial court adjudging the petitioner, therein guilty of contempt, when the record did not disclose anywhere 'that the person charged is one of the persons or classes enjoined, or acting as the agent or servant of or in * * * combination with them, but only that he had actual knowledge of the terms of the injunction by reason of the service of a copy thereof upon him.' That this is a correct statement of the law we think is not debatable.
"The court further found 'that during the time of said picketing the said pickets patrolled the sidewalk in front of the plaintiff's place of business the entire width of the restaurant, and near the outer edge of the said sidewalk,' and as a conclusion of law, held that 'the picketing of the plaintiff's place of business, with instructions to walk up and down the pavement in front thereof, and the patrol of said picket in accordance with said instructions upon the sidewalk in front of plaintiff's place of business, was and is unlawful, illegal, and a trespass and illegal injury to the property rights of the plaintiffs, and an illegal restraint of trade.' " Moore v. Cooks', Waiters' and Waitresses' Union, - Cal. App. - , 179 Pac. 417. "The vital question at issue, however, it seems to us, is a simple one and easy of solution. Clearly the acts of the appellants and defendants, as set forth in the complaint, are illegal and may be restrained by an injunction. It is true that a man, not under contract obligations to the con trary, has the right to quit the service of another at any time he sees fit, and may lawfully state, either publicly or privately, the grievances felt by him which gave rise to his conduct. And that right, which one man may exercise singly, many may lawfully agree, by voluntary association, to exercise jointly. But one man singly, or any number of men jointly, having no legitimate interests to protect, may not ruin the business of another by maliciously inducing his patrons and other persons not to deal with him. Men can not lawfully jointly congregate about the entrance of one's place of business, and there, either by persuasion, coercion, or force, prevent his patrons and the public at large from entering his place of business or dealing with him. To destroy his business in this manner is just as reprehensible as it is to physically destroy his property. Either is a violation of a natural right, the right to own, and peaceably enjoy, property." St. Germain v. Bakery and Confectionery Workers' International Union, 97 Wash. 282, L. R. A. 1917F, 824, 166 Pac. 665.