259 U.S. 344
42 S.Ct. 570
66 L.Ed. 975
UNITED MINE WORKERS OF AMERICA et al.
CORONADO COAL CO. et al.
Reargued March 22, 23, 1922.
Decided June 5, 1922.
[Syllabus from pages 344-346 intentionally omitted]
This is a writ of error brought under section 241 of the Judicial Code
(Comp. St. § 1218) to review a judgment of the Circuit Court of Appeals
of the Eighth Circuit. That court on a writ of error had affirmed the
judgment of the District Court for the Western District of Arkansas, in
favor of the plaintiffs, with some modification, and that judgment thus
affirmed is here for review.
The plaintiffs in the District Court were the receivers of the BacheDenman Coal Company, with eight other corporations, in each of which
the first-named company owned a controlling amount of stock. They were
closely interrelated in corporate organization and in the physical location
of their coal mines. These had been operated for some years as a unit
under one set of officers in the Prairie Creek valley in Sebastian county,
Ark. In July, 1914, the District Court for the Western District of Arkansas
appointed a receiver for all of the nine companies by a single decree. The
receiver then appointed was Franklin Bache, whose successors are as such
defendants in error here.
The defendants in the court below were the United Mine Workers of
America and its officers, District 21 of the United Mine Workers of
America and its officers, 27 local unions in District No. 21 and their
officers, and 65 individuals, mostly members of one union or another, but
including some persons not members, all of whom were charged in the
complaint with having entered into a conspiracy to restrain and
monopolize interstate commerce, in violation of the first and second
sections of the Anti-Trust Act (Comp. St. §§ 8820, 8821), and with
having, in the course of that conspiracy, and for the purpose of
consummating it, destroyed the plaintiff's properties. Treble damages for
this and an attorney's fee were asked under the seventh section of the act
(Comp. St. § 8829).
The original complaint was filed in September, 1914, about six weeks
after the destruction of the property. It was demurred to, and the District
Court sustained the demurrer. This was carried to the Court of Appeals on
error, and the ruling of the District Court was reversed. Dowd v. Inited
Mine Workers, 235 Fed. 1, 148 C. C. A. 495. The case then came to trial
on the third amended complaint and answers of the defendants. The trial
resulted in a verdict of $200,000 for the plaintiffs, which was trebled by
the court, and to which was added a counsel fee of $25,000, and interest to
the amount of $120,600, from July 17, 1914, the date of the destruction of
the property, to November 22, 1917, the date upon which judgment was
entered. The verdict did not separate the amount found between the
companies. On a writ of error from the Court of Appeals, the case was
reversed as to the interest, but in other respects the judgment was affirmed.
258 Fed. 829. The defendants the International Union and District No. 21
have given a supersedeas bond to meet the judgment, if it is affirmed as
against both or either of them.
The third amended complaint avers that of the nine companies, of which
the plaintiff was receiver, and for which he was bringing his suit, five
were operating companies engaged in mining coal and shipping it in
interstate commerce, employing in all about 870 men, and mining an
annual product when working to their capacity valued at $465,000, of
which 75 per cent. was sold and shipped to customers outside of the state.
Of the five operating companies, one was under contract to operate the
properties of two of the others, and four nonoperating companies were
each financially interested in one or more of the operating companies,
either by lease, by contract, or by the ownership of all or a majority of
their stock. The defendant the United Mine Workers of America is alleged
to be an unincorporated association of mine workers, governed by a
constitution, with a membership exceeding 400,000, subdivided into 30
districts and numerous local unions. These subordinate districts and
unions are subject to the constituttion and by-laws, not only of the
International Union, but also to constitutions of their own.
The complaint avers that the United Mine Workers divide all coal mines
into two classes, union or organized mines, operating under a contract with
the union to employ only union miners, and open shop or nonunion mines,
which refuse to make such a contract; that, owing to the unreasonable
restrictions and regulations imposed by the union on organized mines, the
cost of production of union coal is unnecessarily enhanced, so as to
prevent its successful competition in the markets of the country with
nonunion coal; that the object of the conspiracy of the United Mine
Workers and the union operators acting with them is the protection of the
union-mined coal by the prevention and restraint of all interstate trade and
competition in the products of nonunion mines. The complaint enumerates
23 states in which coal mining is conducted, and alleges that the coal
mined in each comes into competition in interstate commerce, directly or
indirectly, with that mined in Illinois, Kentucky, Alabama, New Mexico,
Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas, in the markets of Louisiana,
Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, and Minnesota,
where, but for the defendants' unlawful interference, plaintiffs would have
been engaged in trade in 1914; that the bituminous mines of the greater
part of the above territory are union mines, the principal exceptions being
Alabama, West Virginia, parts of Pennsylvania, and Colorado, which the
defendant has thus far been unable to organize.
The complaint further avers that early in 1914 the plaintiff companies
decided that the operating companies should go on a nonunion or open
shop basis. Two of them, the Prairie Creek Coal Mining Company and the
Mammoth Vein Coal Company, closed down and discontinued as union
mines, preparatory to reopening as open shop mines in April. They were to
be operated under a new contract by the Mammoth Vein Coal Mining
Company. Another of the companies, the Hartford Coal Company, which
had not been in operation, planned to start as an open shop mine as soon as
convenient in the summer of 1914. The fifth, the Coronado Coal
Company, continued operating with the union until April 18, 1914, when
its employes struck because of its unity of interest with the other mines of
the plaintiffs. The plaintiffs say that in April, 1914, the defendants and
those acting in conjunction with them, in furtherance of the general
conspiracy, already described, to drive nonunion coal out of interstate
commerce, and thus to protect union operators from nonunion
competition, drove and frightened away with plaintiffs' employees,
including those directly engaged in shipping coal to other states, prevented
the plaintiffs from employing other men, destroyed the structures and
facilities for mining, loading, and shipping coal, and the cars of interstate
carriers waiting to be loaded, as well as those already loaded with coal in
and for interstate shipment, and prevented plaintiffs from engaging in or
continuing to engage in interstate commerce. The complaint alleges that
the destruction to the property in business amounted to the sum of
$740,000, and asks judgment for three times that amount, or $2,220,000.
Certain of the funds of the United Mine Workers in Arkansas were
attached. The defendants the United Mine Workers of America, District
No. 21, and each local union, and each individual defendant filed a
separate answer. The answers deny all the averments of the complaint.
The trial began on October 24, 1917, and a verdict and judgment were
entered on November 22, following. The evidence is very voluminous,
covering more than 3,000 printed pages.
Messrs. Wm. A. Glasgow, Jr., of Philadelphia, Pa., G. L. Grant, of Ft.
Smith, Ark., Henry Warrum, of Indianapolis, Ind., Webb Covington, of Ft.
Smith, Ark., and Charles E. Hughes, of New York City, for plaintiffs in
[Argument of Counsel from pages 350-364 intentionally omitted]
Messrs. Henry S. Drinker, Jr., of Philadelphia, Pa., and James B.
McDonough, of Ft. Smith, Ark., for defendants in error.
[Argument of Counsel from pages 364-376 intentionally omitted]
Messrs. Daniel Davenport, of Bridgeport, Conn., Walter Gordon Merritt,
of New York City, and Thomas Hewes, of Hartford, Conn., amici curiae.
[Argument of Counsel from pages 376-381 intentionally omitted]
Mr. Chief Justice TAFT, after stating the case, delivered the opinion of
There are five principal questions pressed by the plaintiffs in error here, the
defendants below. The first is that there was a misjoinder of parties plaintiff.
The second is that the United Mine Workers of America, District No. 21,
United Mine Workers of America, and the local unions made defendants, are
unincorporated associations and not subject to suit, and therefore should have
been dismissed from the case on motions seasonably made. The third is that
there is no evidence to show any agency by the United Mine Workers of
America in the conspiracy charged, or in the actual destruction of the property,
and no liability therefor. The fourth is that there is no evidence to show that the
conspiracy alleged against District No. 21 and the other defendants was a
conspiracy to restrain or monopolize interstate commerce. The fifth is that the
court erred in a supplemental charge to the jury, which so stated the court's
view of the evidence as to amount to a mandatory direction coercing the jury
into finding the verdict which was recorded.
First. It does not seem to us that there was a misjoinder of parties under the
procedure as authorized in Arkansas. In that state the law provides that when
causes of action of a like nature, or relative to the same question, are pending
before any of its circuit or chancery courts, the court may make such orders and
rules regulating proceedings therein as may be conformable to the usages of
courts for avoiding unnecessary costs or delay in the administration of justice,
and may consolidate said causes when it appears reasonable to do so. In
Southern Anthracite Coal Co. v. Bowen, 93 Ark. 140, 124 S. W. 1048, the
court consolidated, over objection by defendant, two suits by two workmen
who had been injured in the same accident, and the Supreme Court approved of
this action. In Fidelity Insurance Co. v. Friedman, 117 Ark. 71, 174 S. W. 215,
it was held that actions by an injured person and by a mortgagee against eight
insurance companies on eight different fire insurance policies could be
consolidated against the objection by defendants, and they were tried together.
Of course, the application of this rule of the Arkansas courts under the federal
Conformity Act (Comp. St. § 1537), will be qualified to prevent injury to any
substantial right secured by federal law in the trial. It is a case for the exercise
of reasonable discretion by the trial court. We cannot say that that discretion
was abused in this case. All the companies for which the plaintiffs herein are
receivers were united together in interest and largely under the control of one of
the companies. The active manager of all of them for years was Franklin Bache.
He was the first receiver, and as such the plaintiff. There was no need for a
division in the verdict of damages found, because the union of interest between
the plaintiffs involved no difficulty in the distribution among them of the
amount found. The judgment is res adjudicata as to all the plaintiffs, and we
can find no substantial reason for disturbing it on this ground. No difficulty
presented itself with respect to the challenge of jurors by either side, and so far
as appears there was no embarrassment to the defendants growing out of the
union of the plaintiffs. On the contrary, an examination of the evidence shows
that all the witnesses for the defendants treated the plaintiffs as a unit. They
were so regarded in business and in the neighborhood where the mines were.
Second. Were the unincorporated associations, the International Union, District
No. 21, and the local unions, suable in their names? The United Mine Workers
of America is a national organization. Indeed, because it embraces Canada, it is
called the International Union. Under its constitution, it is intended to be the
union of all workmen employed in and around coal mines, coal washers, and
coke ovens on the American continent. Its declared purpose is to increase
wages and improve conditions of employment of its members by legislation,
conciliation, joint agreements, and strikes. It demands not more than eight
hours a day of labor. The union is composed of workmen eligible to
membership, and is divided into districts, subdistricts, and local unions. The
ultimate authority is a general convention to which delegates selected by the
members in their local organizations are elected. The body governing the union
in the interval between conventions is the International Board, consisting of the
principal officers, the president, vice president and secretary-treasurer together
with a member from each district. The president has much power. He can
remove or suspend International officers, appoints the national organizers and
subordinates, and is to interpret authoritatively the constitution, subject to
reversal by the International Board. When the Board is not in session, the
individual members are to do what he directs them to do. He may dispense with
initiation fees for admission of new locals and members. The machinery of the
organization is directed largely toward propaganda, conciliation of labor
disputes, the making of scale agreements with operators, the discipline of
officers, members, districts, and locals, and toward strikes and the maintenance
of funds for that purpose. It is admirably framed for unit action under the
direction of the national officers. It has a weekly journal, whose editor is
appointed by the president, which publishes all official orders and circulars, and
all the union news. Each local union is required to be a subscriber, and its
official notices are to be brought by the secretary to the attention of the
members. The initiation fees and dues collected from each member are divided
between the national treasury, the district treasury, and that of the local. Should
a local dissolve, the money is to be transmitted to the national treasury.
The rules as to strikes are important here. Section 27 of the constitution is as
'The Board shall have power between conventions, by a two-thirds vote, to
recommend the calling of a general strike, but under no circumstances shall it
call such strike until approved by a referendum vote of the members.'
Under article 16, no district is permitted to engage in a strike involving all or a
major portion of its members without sanction of the International Convention
Section 2 of that article provides that districts may order local strikes within
their respective districts 'on their own responsibility,' but where local strikes are
to be financed by the International Union they must be sanctioned by the
Section 3 provides that in unorganized fields the Convention or Board must
sanction strikes, and no financial aid is to be given until after the strike has
lasted four weeks, unless otherwise decided by the Board. The Board is to
prescribe conditions in which strikes are to be financed by the International
Union and the amount of strike relief to be furnished the striking members. In
such cases, the president appoints a financial agent to assume responsibility for
money to be expended from the International funds, and he only can make
binding contracts. There is a uniform system of accounting as to the
disbursements for strikes.
The membership of the union has reached 450,000. The dues received from
them for the national and district organizations make a very large annual total,
and the obligations assumed in traveling expenses, holding of conventions, and
general overhead cost, but most of all in strikes, are so heavy that an extensive
financial business is carried on, money is borrowed, notes are given to banks,
and in every way the union acts as a business entity, distinct from its members.
No organized corporation has greater unity of action, and in none is more
power centered in the governing executive bodies.
Undoubtedly at common law an unincorporated association of persons was not
recognized as having any other character than a partnership in whatever was
done, and it could only sue or be sued in the names of its members, and their
liability had to be enforced against each member. Pickett v. Walsh, 192 Mass.
572, 78 N. E. 753, 6 L. R. A (N. S.) 1067, 116 Am. St. Rep. 272, 7 Ann. Cas.
638; Karges Furniture Co. v. Amalga mated Woodworkers Local Union, 165
Ind. 421, 75 N. E. 877, 2 L. R. A. (N. S.) 788, 6 Ann. Cas. 829; Baskins v.
United Mine Workers (Ark.) 234 S. W. 464, decided Nov. 7, 1921. But the
growth and necessities of these great labor organizations have brought
affirmative legal recognition of their existence and usefulness and provisions
for their protection, which their members have found necessary. Their right to
maintain strikes when they do not violate law or the rights of others, has been
declared. The embezzlement of funds by their officers has been especially
denounced as a crime. The so-called union label, which is a quasi trade-mark to
indicate the origin of manufactured product in union labor, has been protected
against pirating and deceptive use by the statutes of most of the states, and in
many states authority to sue to enjoin its use has been conferred on unions.
They have been given distinct and separate representation and the right to
appear to represent union interests in statutory arbitrations, and before official
labor boards. We insert in the margin an extended reference,1 furnished by the
industry of counsel, to legislation of this kind. More than this, equitable
procedure adapting itself to modern needs has grown to recognize the need of
representation by one person of many, too numerous to sue or to be sued (Story,
Equity Pleadings [8th Ed.] §§ 94, 97; St. Germain v. Bakery Union, 97 Wash.
282, 166 Pac. 665, L. R. A. 1917F, 824; Branson v. Industrial Workers of the
World, 30 Nev. 270, 95 Pac. 354; Barnes v. Chicago Typographical Union, 232
Ill. 402, 83 N. E. 932, 14 L. R. A. [N. S.] 1150, 122 Am. St. Rep. 129); and this
has had its influence upon the law side of litigation, so that out of the very
necessities of the existing conditions and the utter impossibility of doing justice
otherwise, the suable character of such an organization as this has come to be
recognized in some jurisdictions, and many suits for and against labor unions
are reported, in which no question has been raised as to the right to treat them in
their closely united action and functions as artificial persons capable of suing
and being sued. It would be unfortunate if an organization with as great power
as this International Union has in the raising of large funds and in directing the
conduct of 400,000 members in carrying on, in a wide territory, industrial
controversies, and strikes out of which so much unlawful injury to private rights
is possible, could assemble its assets to be used therein free from liability for
injuries by torts committed in course of such strikes. To remand persons injured
to a suit against each of the 400,000 members, to recover damages and to levy
on his share of the strike fund, would be to leave them remediless.
In the case of Taff Vale Co. v. Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants
 A. C. 426, an English statute provided for the registration of trades
unions, authorized them to hold property through trustees, to have agents, and
provided for a winding up and a rendering of accounts. A union was sued for
damages growing out of a strike. Mr. Justice Farwell, meeting the objection
that the union was not a corporation and could not be sued as an artificial
'If the contention of the defendant society were well founded, the Legislature
has authorized the creation of numerous bodies of men capable of owning great
wealth and of action by agents with absolutely no responsibility for the wrongs
that they may do to other persons by the use of that wealth and the employment
of those agents.'
He therefore gave judgment against the union. This was affirmed by the House
of Lords. The legislation in question in that case did not create trade unions, but
simply recognized their existence and regulated them in certain ways, but
neither conferred on them general power to sue nor imposed liability to be sued.
See also Hillenbrand v. Building Trade Council, 14 Ohio Dec. N. P. 628;
Holland Jurisprudence (12th Ed.) 341; Pollock's First Book on Jurisprudence
(2d Ed.) 125.
Though such a conclusion as to the suability of trades unions is of primary
importance in the working out of justice and in protecting individuals and
society from possibility of oppression and injury in their lawful rights from the
existence of such powerful entities as trade unions, it is after all in essence and
principle merely a procedural matter. As a matter of substantive law, all the
members of the union engaged in a combination doing unlawful injury are
liable to suit and recovery, and the only question is whether when they have
voluntarily, and for the purpose of acquiring concentrated strength and the
faculty of quick unit action and elasticity, created a self-acting body with great
funds to accomplish their purpose, they may not be sued as this body, and the
funds they have accumulated may not be made to satisfy claims for injuries
unlawfully caused in carrying out their united purpose. Trade unions have been
recognized as lawful by the Clayton Act; they have been tendered formal
incorporation as national unions by the Act of Congress approved June 29,
1886 (24 Stat. 86 [Comp. St. §§ 8908-8912]). In the Act of Congress approved
August 23, 1912 (37 Stat. 415 [Comp. St. §§ 8913-8917]), a commission on
industrial relations was created, providing that three of the Commissioners
should represent organized labor. Transportation Act 1920, §§ 302-307 (41
Stat. 469), recognizes labor unions in creation of railroad boards of adjustment,
and provides for action by the Railroad Labor Board upon their application.
The Act of Congress approved August 5, 1909, c. 6, § 38, 36 Stat. 112, and the
Act approved October 3, 1913, c. 16, subd. G, (a) ( 38 Stat. 172), expressly
exempt labor unions from excise taxes. Periodical publications issued by or
under the auspices of trades unions are admitted into the mails as second-class
mail matter. Acts 1911-1913, c. 389 (37 Stat. 550 [Comp. St. § 7309]). The
legality of labor unions of postal employees is expressly recognized by Act of
Congress approved August 24, 1912, c. 389, § 6 (37 Stat. 539, 555 [Comp. St. §
3287]). By Act of Congress passed August 1, 1914, no money was to be used
from funds therein appropriated to prosecute unions under the Anti-Trust Act
(38 Stat. 609, 652).
In this state of federal legislation, we think that such organizations are suable in
the federal courts for their acts, and that funds accumulated to be expended in
conducting strikes are subject to execution in suits for torts committed by such
unions in strikes. The fact that the Supreme Court of Arkansas has since taken a
different view in Baskins v. United Mine Workers of America, supra, cannot
under the Conformity Act operate as a limitation on the federal procedure in
Our conclusion as to the suability of the defendants is confirmed in the case at
bar by the words of sections 7 and 8 of the Anti-Trust Law (Comp. St. §§ 8829,
8830). The persons who may be sued under section 8 include 'corporations and
associations existing under or authorized by the laws of either the United States,
the laws of any of the territories, the laws of any state, or the laws of any
foreign country.' This language is very broad, and the words given their natural
signification certainly include labor unions like these. They are, as has been
abundantly shown, associations existing under the laws of the United States, of
the territories thereof, and of the states of the Union. Congress was passing
drastic legislation to remedy a threatening danger to the public welfare, and did
not intend that any persons or combinations of persons should escape its
application. Their thought was especially directed against business associations
and combinations that were unincorporated to do the things forbidden by the
act, but they used language broad enough to include all associations which
might violate its provisions recognized by the statutes of the United States or
the states or the territories, or foreign countries as lawfuly existing; and this, of
course, includes labor unions, as the legislation referred to shows. Thus it was
that in the cases of United States v. Trans-Missouri Freight Association, 166 U.
S. 290, 17 Sup. Ct. 540, 41 L. ed. 1007, United States v. Joint Traffic
Association, 171 U. S. 505, 19 Sup. Ct. 25, 43 L. Ed. 259, Montague & Co. v.
Lowry, 193 U. S. 38, 24 Sup. Ct. 307, 48 L. Ed. 608, and Eastern States
Lumber Association v. United States, 234 U. S. 600, 34 Sup. Ct. 951, 58 L. Ed.
1490, L. R. A. 1915A, 788, unincorporated associations were made parties to
suits in the federal courts under the Anti-Trust Act without question by any one
as to the correctness of the procedure.
For these reasons, we conclude that the International Union, the District No.
21, and the 27 local unions were properly made parties defendant here and
properly served by process on their principal officers.
Third. The next question is whether the International Union was shown by any
substantial evidence to have initiated, participated in, or ratified the interference
with plaintiffs' business which began April 6, 1914, and continued at intervals
until July 17, when the matter culminated in a battle and the destruction of the
Bache-Denman properties. The strike was a local strike declared by the
president and officers of the District Organization No. 21, embracing Arkansas,
kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. By section 16 of the International constitution,
as we have seen, it could not thus engage in a strike, if it involved all or a major
part of its district members, without sanction of the International Board. There
is nothing to show that the International Board ever authorized it, took any part
in preparation for it or in its maintenance. Nor did they or their organization
ratify it by paying any of the expenses. It came exactly within the definition of
a local strike in the constitutions of both the national and the district
organizations. The district made the preparations and paid the bills. It does
appear that the president of the national body was in Kansas City and heard of
the trouble which had taken place on April 6 at Prairie Creek, and that at a
meeting of the International Board he reported it as something he had learned
on his trip for their official information. He said that a man named Bache had
demanded in a suit an accounting of the funds of the Southwestern Coal
Operators' Association, that when he secured the information he——
'went down to Arkansas and started to run his mine nonunion. The boys simply
marched in on him in a day down there, and kicked his Colorado guards out of
there, and broke their jaws, and put the flag of the United Mine Workers on top
of the tipple, and pulled the fires out of the boilers, and that was all there was to
it, and the mines have been idle ever since. I do not say our boys did this, but I
mean the people from all through that country marched in and stopped the
work, and, when the guards offered resistance, several of them were roughly
handled, but no lives were lost, as I understand it.'
Later in May be made a long speech at a special convention of District No. 21
held at Ft. Smith for a purpose not connected with this matter, in which he
referred especially to the Colorado and West Virginia strikes, in which the
International Union was engaged with all its might, but he made no specific
allusion to the Prairie Creek difficulty. It does appear that in 1916, after
Stewart, the president of District 21, had been convicted of conspiracy to defeat
the injunction issued to protect the Prairie Creek mines in this conflict, and had
gone to the penitentiary and was pardoned, White, the national president, wrote
a letter thanking the President for this, and that subsequently he appointed
Stewart to a position on a district committee. It would be going very far to
consider such acts of the president along a ratification by the International
Board, creating liability for a past tort. The president had not authority to order
or ratify a local strike. Only the board could do this. White's report in an
executive meeting of the Board of the riot of April 6 shows sympathy with its
purpose and a lack of respect for law, but does not imply or prove on his part
any prior initiation or indicate a desire to ratify the transaction as his work. The
Board took no action on his report. He did not request it.
Communications from outsiders and editorials, published in the United Mine
Workers journal, giving accounts of the occurrences at Prairie Creek, and
representing that the troubles were due to the aggression of the armed guards of
the mine owners, and that the action of the union men was justified because in
defense of their homes against night attacks, do not constitute such ratification
by the Board or the president, after the fact, as to make the International Union
liable for what had been done.
The argument of counsel for the plaintiffs is that, because the national body
had authority to discipline district organizations, to make local strikes its own
and to pay their cost, if it deemed it wise, the duty was thrust on it, when it
knew a local strike was on, to superintend it and prevent its becoming lawless
at its peril. We do not conceive that such responsibility is imposed on the
national body. A corporation is responsible for the wrongs committed by its
agents in the course of its business, and this principle is enforced against the
contention that torts are ultra vires the corporation. But it must be shown that it
is in the business of the corporation. Surely no stricter rule can be enforced
against an unincorporated organization like this. Here it is not a question of
contract, or of holding out an appearance of authority, on which some third
person acts. It is a mere question of actual agency, which the constitutions of
the two bodies settle conclusively. If the International body had interfered, or if
it had assumed liability by ratification, different questions would have arisen.
Counsel cite section 2 of article 12 of the constitution of District No. 21 to
show that questions of all strikes must be referred by district officers to the
national president for his decision, and suggest that, in the absence of a
showing, it is to be inferred that they did so here, and the strike was approved
by him. They misconstrue the section. It applies only to a proposed strike which
would affect two districts and to which one district is opposed. It does not apply
to local strikes like this.
But it is said that the district was doing the work of the International and
carrying out its policies, and this circumstance makes the former an agent. We
cannot agree to this, in the face of the specific stipulation between them that in
such a case, unless the International expressly assumed responsibility, the
district must meet it alone. The subsequent events, showing that the District did
meet the responsibility with its own funds, confirm our reliance upon the
constitutions of the two bodies.
We conclude that the motions of the International Union, the United Mine
Workers of America, and of its president and its other officers, that the jury be
directed to return a verdict for them, should have been granted.
Fourth. The next question is twofold: (a) Whether the District No. 21 and the
individual defendants participated in a plot unlawfully to deprive the plaintiffs
of their employees by intimidation and violence and in the course of it
destroyed their properties; and (b) whether they did these things in pursuance of
a conspiracy to restrain and monopolize interstate commerce.
The case made for the plaintiff was as follows:
(a) In March of 1914, when the Prairie Creek No. 4, Mammoth Vein coal mine,
and the Coronado mines were operating with union labor, and under a District
No. 21 contract and scale of wages and terms which did not expire until July 1
following, Bache, the manager of all the properties, determined to run his mines
thereafter on a nonunion or open basis. He had his superintendent prepare a
letter setting forth his reasons for the change, and forwarded it to his principals
in the East to justify the change of policy which he insisted would result in a
substantial reduction in the cost of production. To avoid the charge of a breach
of the union scale, he had a contract made between the Mammoth Vein Coal
Mining Company, which he controlled, and the Prairie Creek Coal Company
and the Mammoth Vein Coal Company, by which the Mammoth Vein Coal
Mining Company, a corporation with $100 capital, agreed to run the mines. As
it had signed no scale, he considered it free from obligation to the union. He
then shut down the mines and prepared to open them on a nonunion basis on
April 6. He anticipated trouble. He employed three guards from the Burns
Detective Agency, and a number of others to aid them. He bought a number of
Winchester rifles and ammunition. He surrounded his principal mining plant at
Prairie Creek No. 4 with a cable strung on posts. He had notices prepared for
his former employees, who occupied the company's houses, to vacate. He had
notices warning trespassers from the premises posted at the entrance to the tract
that was inclosed within the cable. He sent out for nonunion men, and had
gathered some 30 or more at the mine by the day fixed for the opening.
The mines of the plaintiffs lie in the county of Sebastian, on the west border of
Arkansas, next to Oklahoma, in a hilly country. The whole country is full of
coal mines. The annual coal-producing capacity of Arkansas is about 2,000,000
tons. The product is a smokeless coal, like the Pocohontas of West Virginia.
All the Arkansas mines, but one small one, were union. The towns in the
neighborhood, Hartford, Huntington, Midland, Frogtown, and others, were
peopled by union miners, and the business done in them was dependent on
union miners' patronage. Hartford, a town of 2,500, was about 3 miles from
Prairie Creek; Midland, less in size, lay about the same distance away in
another direction; and Huntington was a mile or two further in still another
direction. Frogtown was a small village, about a mile and a half from Prairie
Creek. Stewart, the president of the District No. 21, and the other officers,
promptly declared a local strike against the Prairie Creek and Mammoth Vein
mine, and the union miners who had not been discharged from the Coronado
mine of the plaintiffs left. Through the agency of the officers of District No. 21
and the local unions, a public meeting was called at the schoolhouse, about a
quarter of a mile from the Prairie Creek mine. The influence of the union men
was exerted upon the shopkeepers of the towns above named to close their
stores and attend the meeting. It was given a picnic character, and women and
children attended. The meeting, after listening to speeches, appointed a
committee to visit the superintendent in charge of the mine. On this committee
was one Slankard, a constable of the town of Hartford, and a union man,
together with two other union miners. They asked the superintendent that the
nonunion men be sent away and the mine resume operations with union men.
The committee was attended by a very large body of union miners. They were
met at the entrance to the inclosure by two guards with guns carried behind
them. The committee was admitted to see the superintendent and the crowd
dealt with the guards. The guards had been directed not to use their guns save to
defend their own lives or another's. The union miners assaulted the guards, took
the guns away, and so injured a number of the employees that four or five had
to be sent to a hospital. The crowd swarmed over the premises, forced the
pulling of the fires, and hurled stones at the fleeing guards. The result was that
all the employees deserted the mine, and it was completely filled with water,
which came in when the pumps stopped. One of the crowd went up to the top
of the coal tipple and planted a flag on which was the legend, 'This is a union
Mr. Bache, after the riot and lawless violence of April 6, secured from the
federal District Court an injunction against those union miners and others
whom his agents could identify as having been present and having taken part.
This included the president and secretary-treasurer of the District No. 21 and
others. Bache then made preparations to resume mining. The mine was full of
water and it required a considerable time to pump it out and get things into
proper condition. Because of further threats, the court was applied to to send
United States deputy marshals to guard the property, and they were sent.
Meantime the work of reparation progressed, and Bache's agents were engaged
in securing the coming of miners and other employees from in and out of the
state to enlarge his force. The attitude of the union miners continued hostile,
and constant effort was made by them to intercept the groups of men and
women who were brought in by Bache from Tennessee and elsewhere, and to
turn them away, either by peaceable inducement or by threats and physical
intimidation. The vicinage was so permeated with union feeling that the public
officers did not hesitate to manifest their enmity toward the nonunion men, and
made arrests of the guards and others who were in Bache's employ upon
frivolous charges. Rumors were spread abroad through the county that the
guards employed by Bache were insulting and making indecent proposals to
very young girls in and about Prairie Creek, and P. R. Stewart, the president of
District No. 21, in the presence of some 10 persons on the public street of
Midland, in the latter part of May, denounced the guards for these insults and
proposals, and said that he would furnish the guns if the people would take
them. The evidence also disclosed that through the secretary-treasurer of
District No. 21, some 40 or more Winchester rifles were bought from the
Remington Arms Company and secretly sent to Hartford for the purpose
intended by Stewart. They were paid for by a check signed by Hull, the
secretary-treasurer of District No. 21, and countersigned by Stewart, the
president. Conversations with Stewart, which Stewart did not take the stand to
deny, were sworn to, in which he announced that he would not permit the
Prairie Creek men to run 'nonunion' and intended to stop it. McLachlin, who
was a member of the executive board of District No. 21 in the first week of July
gathered up some of the guns, exactly how many does not appear, and shipped
them 60 miles to McAlester, Okl., the headquarters of District No. 21. It
appeared that guns of like make and caliber were used by the assailants in the
attack on the Prairie Creek mine on July 17. The United States marshals had
been withdrawn from the premises of Prairie Creek mine No. 4, before July 1,
though the guards were retained.
The evidence leaves no doubt that during the month of June there was a plan
and movement among the union miners to make an attack upon Prairie Creek
mine No. 4. By this time the number of men secured by Bache had increased to
70 or 80, and preparations were rapidly going on for a resumption of mining.
The tense feeling in respect to the coming attack increased. On Sunday night,
July 12, about midnight, there was a fusillade of shots into the village of
Frogtown, a small collection of houses, already mentioned, about a mile and a
half from Prairie Creek mine. A number of people, in fright at the cry that 'the
scabs were surrounding the town,' left and went to Hartford, about 2 miles
away, and thereafted guards were put out at Hartford to defend that town
against attack by the guards at Prairie Creek. The ridiculous improbability that
the guards at Prairie Creek, who were engaged in protecting themselves and the
property and in constant fear of attack, should make this unprovoked assault
upon the town of Frogtown, is manifest from the slightest reading of the
evidence, and there crept in through a statement of one of the defendants, an
active union man, to a witness who testified to it, that this shooting had been
done by the Hartford constable, Slankard, and himself, in order to arouse the
hostility of the neighborhood against the men at Prairie Creek. On the night of
the 16th, the union miners' families who lived in Prairie Creek were warned by
friends to leave that vicinity in order to avoid danger, and at 4 o'clock the next
morning the attack was begun by a volley of many shots fired into the
premises. A large force with guns attacked the mining premises from all sides
later on in the day.
The first movement toward destruction of property was at mine No. 3, a short
distance from No. 4, where the coal washhouse was set on fire. The occupants
of the premises were driven out, except a few who stayed and intrenched
themselves behind coal cars or other protection. Most of the employees and
their families fled to the ridges, behind which they were able to escape danger
from the flying bullets. The forces surrounding the mine were so numerous that
by 1 o'clock they had driven out practically all of the defenders, and set fire to
the coal tipple of mine No. 4, and destroyed all the plant by the use of dynamite
and the match.
The assailants took some of Batche's employees prisoners as they were
escaping, and conducted them to a log cabin behind the schoolhouse near the
mine, to which reference has already been made, and where the first riot
meeting was held. The four or five prisoners were taken out of the cabin where
they had been for a short time confined, and two of them, one a former union
man, were deliberately murdered in the presence of their captors, by a man
whose indentity it was impossible to establish. The evidence in this case clearly
shows that Slankard, the contable of Hartford, was present at the killing, and
that the men who were killed were in his custody, on the way, as he said, to the
grand jury. He was subsequently tried before a Sebastian county jury for
murder, and was acquitted on an alibi. Slankard, though a defendant and in
court, did not take the stand in this case. The overwhelming weight of the
evidence establishes that this was purely a union attack, under the guidance of
The testimony offered by defendants to show that it was only an uprising of the
indignant citizens of the countryside really tended to confirm the guilt of the
District No. 21. Its palpably artificial character showed that basis for it had
been framed in advance for the purpose of relieving the officers of District No.
21 and the union miners of that neighborhood from responsibility for the
contemplated execution of their destructive and criminal purpose. It is a
doubtful question whether this responsibility was not so clearly established that,
had that been the only element needed to justify a verdict, the court properly
might have directed it. The president of District No. 21 and the union miners,
including Slankard, whose agency in and leadership of this attack were fully
proven, were present in the courtroom at the trial, but did not take the stand to
deny the facts established. Indeed, they had been previously brought to trial for
conspiracy to defeat the federal administration of justice and for contempt
because of these very acts, had pleaded guilty to the charge made, and had been
sentenced to imprisonment, and their expenses as defendants in and out of jail
had been paid by the district out of the district treasury and the disbursements
approved by the district in convention.
It is contended on behalf of District No. 21 and the local unions that only those
members of these bodies whom the evidence shows to have participated in the
torts can be held civilly liable for the damages. There was evidence to connect
all these individual defendants with the acts which were done, and, in view of
our finding that District No. 21 and the unions are suable, we cannot yield to
the argument that it would be necessary to show the guilt of every member of
District No. 21 and of each union in order to hold the union and its strike funds
to answer. District No. 21 and the local unions were engaged in a work in
which the strike was one of the chief instrumentalities for accomplishing the
purpose for which their unions were organized. By section 1 of arricle 12 of the
constitution of District No. 21, it is provided that:
'When trouble of a legal character arises between the members of local unions
and their employer, the mine committee and officers shall endeavor to effect an
amicable adjustment, and failing they shall immediately notify the officers of
the district and said district officers shall immediately investigate the cause of
the complaint, and failing to effect a peaceful settlement upon a basis that
would be equitable and just to the aggrieved members, finding that a strike
would best subserve the interests of the localities affected, they may, with the
consent and approval of the officers, order a strike.'
Thus the authority is put by all the members of the District No. 21 in their
officers to order a strike, and if in the conduct of that strike unlawful injuries
are inflicted, the district organization is responsible, and the fund accumulated
for strike purposes may be subjected to the payment of any judgment which is
(b) It was necessary, however, in order to hold District No. 21 liable in this suit
under the Anti-Trust Act, to establish that this conspiracy to attack the BacheDenman mines and stop the nonunion employment there was with intent to
restrain interstate commerce and to monopolize the same, and to subject it to
the control of the union. The evidence upon which the plaintiffs relied to
establish this, and upon which the judgment of the trial court and of the Court
of Appeals went, consisted of a history of the relations between the
International Union and the union coal operators of certain so-called
competitive districts from 1898 until 1914. The miners of Ohio, Indiana, and
Illinois, large bituminous coal-producing states, were members of the union,
and the coal operators of those states, in spite of strikes and lockouts from time
to time, were properly classed as union operators. They met yearly in
conference with the union's representatives to agree upon terms of employment
from April 1st to April 1st. In these conferences the operators frequently
complained that the competition of many nonunion mines in Western
Pennsylvania and the whole of West Virginia was ruinous to their business
because of the low cost of production of coal in such mines, due to the lower
wages and less expensive conditions of working than in union mines, and urged
that something must be done to stop this, or that the union scale of wages be
reduced. By section 8 of the contract between the operators of the Central
Competitive Coal Field and the United Mine Workers of America, dated
Chicago, January 28, 1898, it was stipulated:
'That the United Mine Workers organization, a party to this contract, do hereby
further agree to afford all possible protection to the trade and to other parties
hereto against any unfair competition resulting from a failure to maintain scale
From this time on in every annual conference until after the controversy in the
case before us in 1914 the subject recurred. It does not appear when, if at any
time, wages were reduced because of this plea by the operators. Sometimes the
contention of the operators as to the effect of nonunion competition was
conceded, and greater activity in unionizing nonunion territory was promised.
Again pleas were made by the miners' representatives of the great amount of
money expended by the union, and in one or two instances of the sacrifice of
human lives, to effect this result. Again the union leaders flatly refused to be
further affected by the argument, and charged that the nonunion competition of
West Virginia, which was always the principal factor, was only possible
because some of the most important union operators in Ohio and the Central
Competitive Field really were interested as nonunion operators in West
Virginia. There was considerable discussion as to the nonunion competition of
Kentucky fields as a basis for the operators' complaints. At times there were
suggestions from the miners' side that the operators ought to contribute funds to
enable the campaign of unionizing to go on, but they never seem to have met
In general convention of the union of 1904, a local union from the Indian
Territory in District No. 21 submitted a resolution which was adopted in respect
to the then Colorado strike: 'Resolved, that in strict compliance with our
obligations and teachings, we accord a hearty approval to our National Board
on its action in regard to District No. 15 now on in Colorado, and whatever
action taken by the National that in their judgment is necessary to the
successful ending in the elevating of the craft in District No. 15, meets our
entire approval, for which we pledge out unqualified support, as our knowledge
of the southern field of Southern Colorado in the event of an unsuccessful issue
of the trouble now pending would work almost unsurmountable and
incalculable damage to District No. 21, as it would be an unjust competition in
the same commercial field and could with little effort undersell and supersede
us in Oklahoma and Southwestern Kansas markets.'
In a joint conference between the union leaders and the coal operators, in 1904,
Mr. Mitchell, the president of the union, spoke as follows:
'I believe the discussion of this matter should be carried on with perfect
frankness and candor on both sides. I don't think we should disguise our
position at all, and I want to state for our side of the house just where we are, as
I understand it. We don't believe that a reduction in the mining rate will help
you. We know that it will do us incalculable injury. We don't believe that a
reduction in the mining rate will secure for you a larger amount of trade than
you now have. We don't believe that the industry will be benefited by reducing
wages. We know that in the past every reduction in wages has been given to the
large consumers of coal—not to the domestic trade, not to those who can ill
afford to pay high rates for coal, but to the railroad companies and the great
manufacturers. We know that when the mining rate is lowest your profits have
'Now, gentlemen, it has required many years of work and effort and sacrifice to
make wages at the mines compare favorably with wages in other industries. We
are not going back to the old conditions; we are not going to consent to a
reduction in wages. We believe the best thing to do is to renew out present
wage scale; to make such modifications of internal questions as seem right, and
then return and work out the coming scale year as we have the past scale year. I
think we may as well understand now as at any other time that we are not going
to consent to a reduced mining rate.'
At the convention in 1906, a resolution that Districts 13, 14, 21, 24, and 25 be
admitted to the interstate joint conferences was adopted. This was urged by
President Mitchell of the Union, and the secretary, W. B. Wilson. The latter
'If I understand the principle upon which this movement is based, it is to bring
into the joint conference those operators and those miners of the Southwestern
District whose competitive business is closely related to each other, and in
asking that the operators of the Southwestern District be admitted to this
conference, we are simply carrying out that principle. The coal mined in
Western Pennsylvania comes in immediate competition and direct competition
with Ohio; that mined in Ohio, as well as that in Pennsylvania, comes in
competition with Indiana and Illinois; that mined in Illinois comes in contact
with Kowa; that mined in Iowa comes in competition with Missouri and coal
mined in Missouri comes in competition with Kansas, Arkansas, and the Indian
Territory. They are all related to one another. They are all competitors with one
another, and it is but just and fair that each of these fields should have a
representation in the joint conference that sets a base for the prices of the
ensuing year. This is the first conference that is held. Whatever wages are
agreed upon here, whether it is an increase in wages, a decrease in wages,
improved conditions or otherwise, it sets the pace for other districts and those
other districts have no voice in saying what that price shall be. In order to avoid
that condition of affairs, in order to give justice to the operators and miners in
other fields not represented here at the present time, we ask you as a matter of
fairness and justice to permit those whose operators and miners are represented
here, to participate in this joint conference.'
In 1910, Bache, as a union operator, took part for his mines in fixing the scale
of wages in District No. 21. Later on, at the time of a conference, he made a
separate scale with the District No. 21 more favorable in some respects than
that subsequently agreed on in the conference with the other operators, and he
was for that reason expelled from the operators' association. He was permitted
at a later time to rejoin it, but he had some litigation with it in respect to their
funds, the nature of which is not disclosed by the record.
In 1913 and 1914, and in the years preceding, the International Union had
carried on two strikes of great extent covering the Colorado fields, and the
Ohio and West Virginia fields, in which very large sums of money had been
expended and there was much lawlessness and violence. Its treasury had been
drained and it borrowed $75,000 from District No. 21 during this period.
The foregoing will enable one to acquire a fair idea of the national situation,
shown by the record, in respect to the mining and sale of coal, so far as it bears
upon this case and upon this state of fact. The plaintiffs charge that there has
been and is a continuously operating conspiracy between union coal operators
and the International Union to restrain interstate commerce in coal and to
monopolize it, and that the work of District No. 21 at Prairie Creek was a step
in that conspiracy for which it can be held liable under the Anti-Trust Act.
Coal mining is not interstate commerce, and the power of Congress does not
extend to its regulation as such. In Hammer v. Dagenhart, 247 U. S. 251, 272,
38 Sup. Ct. 529, 531 (62 L. Ed. 1101, 3 A. L. R. 649, Ann. Cas. 1918E, 724)
'The making of goods and the mining of coal are not commerce, not does the
fact that these things are to be afterwards shipped or used in interstate
commerce make their production a part thereof. Delaward, Lackawanna &
Western R. R. Co. v. Yurkonis, 238 U. S. 439.'
Obstruction to coal mining is not a direct obstruction to interstate commerce in
coal, although it, of course, may affect it by reducing the amount of coal to be
carried in that commerce. We have had occasion to consider the principles
governing the validity of congressional restraint of such indirect obstructions to
interstate commerce in Swift v. United States, 196 U. S. 375, 25 Sup. Ct. 276,
49 L. Ed. 518; United States v. Patten, 226 U. S. 525, 33 Sup. Ct. 141, 57 L.
Ed. 333, 44 L. R. A. (N. S.) 325; United States v. Ferger, 250 U. S. 199, 39
Sup. Ct. 445, 63 L. Ed. 936; Wisconsin R. R. Commission v. C., B. & Q. R. R.
(decided February 27, 1922) 257 U. S. 563, 42 Sup. Ct. 232, 66 L. Ed. 371, and
Stafford v. Wallace (decided May 1, 1922) 258 U. S. 495, 42 Sup. Ct. 397, 66
L. Ed. ——. It is clear from these cases that if Congress deems certain
recurring practices though not really part of interstate commerce, likely to
obstruct, restrain or burden it, it has the power to subject them to national
supervision and restraint. Again, it has the power to punish conspiracies, in
which such practices are part of the plan to hinder, restrain, or monopolize
interstate commerce. But in the latter case the intent to injure, obstruct, or
restrain interstate commerce must appear as an obvious consequence of what is
to be done, or be shown by direct evidence or other circumstance.
What really is shown by the evidence in the case at bar, drawn from
discussions and resolutions of conventions and conference, is the stimulation of
union leaders to press their unionization of nonunion mines, not only as a direct
means of bettering the conditions and wages of their workers, but also as a
means of lessening interstate competition for union operators, which in turn
would lessen the pressure of those operators for reduction of the union scale or
their resistance to an increase. The latter is a secondary or ancillary motive,
whose actuating force in a given case necessarily is dependent on the particular
circumstances to which it is sought to make is applicable. If unlawful means
had here been used by the national body to unionize mines whose product was
important, actually or potentially, in affecting prices in interstate commerce, the
evidence in question would clearly tend to show that that body was guilty of an
actionable conspiracy under the Anti-Trust Act. This principle is involved in
the decision of the case of Hitchman Coal Co. v. Mitchell, 245 U. S. 229, 38
Sup. Ct. 65, 62 L. Ed. 260, L. R. A. 1918C, 497, Ann. Cas. 1918B, 461, and is
restated in American Steel Foundries v. Tri-City Central Trades Council, 257
U. S. 184, 42 Sup. Ct. 72, 66 L. Ed. 189, decided December 5, 1921. But it is
not a permissible interpretation of the evidence in question that it tends to show
that the motive indicated thereby actuates every lawless strike of a local and
sporadic character, not initiated by the national body, but by one of its
subordinate subdivisions. The very fact that local strikes are provided for in the
union's constitution, and so may not engage the energies or funds of the
national body, confirms this view. Such a local case of a lawless strike must
stand on its own facts, and, while these conventions and discussions may reveal
a general policy, the circumstances or direct evidence should supply the link
between them and the local situation to make an unlawful local strike, not
initiated or financed by the main organization, a step in an actionable
conspiracy to restrain the freedom of interstate commerce which the Anti-Trust
Act was intended to protect.
This case is very different from Loewe v. Lawlor, 208 U. S. 274, 28 Sup. Ct.
301, 52 L. Ed. 488, 13 Ann. Cas. 815. There the gist of the charge held to be a
violation of the Anti-Trust Act was the effort of the defendants, members of a
trades union, by a boycott against a manufacturer of hats, to destroy his
interstate sales in hats. The direct object of attack was interstate commerce.
So, too, it differs from Eastern States Retail Lumber Dealers' Association v.
United States, 234 U. S. 600, 34 Sup. Ct. 951, 58 L. Ed. 1490, L. R. A. 1915A,
788, where the interstate retail trade of wholesale lumber men with consumers
was restrained by a combination of retail dealers by an agreement among the
latter to blacklist or boycott any wholesaler engaged in such retail trade. It was
the commerce itself which was the object of the conspiracy. In United States v.
Patten, 226 U. S. 525, 33 Sup. Ct. 141, 57 L. Ed. 333, 44 L. R. A. (N. S.) 325,
running a corner in cotton in New York City, by which the defendants were
conspiring to obtain control of the available supply and to enhance the price to
all buyers in every market of the country, was held to be a conspiracy to
restrain interstate trade, because cotton was the subject of interstate trade, and
such control would directly and materially impede and burden the due course of
trade among the states, and inflict upon the public the injuries which the AntiTrust Act was designed to prevent. Although running the corner was not
interstate commerce, the necessary effect of the control of the available supply
would be to obstruct and restrain interstate commerce, and so the conspirators
were charged with the intent to restrain. The difference between the Patten Case
and that of Ware & Leland Co. v. Mobile County, 209 U. S. 405, 28 Sup. Ct.
526, 52 L. Ed. 855, 14 Ann. Cas. 1031, illustrates a distinction to be drawn in
cases which do not involve interstate commerce intrinsically but which may or
may not be regarded as affecting interstate commerce so directly as to be within
the federal regulatory power. In the Ware & Leland Case, the question was
whether a state could tax the business of a broker dealing in contracts for the
future delivery of cotton where there was no obligation to ship from one state to
another. The tax was sustained, and dealing in cotton futures was held not to be
interstate commerce, and yet thereafter such dealings in cotton futures as were
alleged in the Patten Case, where they were part of a conspiracy to bring the
entire cotton trade within its influence, were held to be in restraint of interstate
commerce. And so in the case at bar coal mining is not interstate commerce,
and obstruction of coal mining, though it may prevent coal from going into
interstate commerce, is not a restraint of that commerce, unless the obstruction
to mining is intended to restrain commerce in it, or has necessarily such a direct,
material, and substantial effect to restrain it that the intent reasonably must be
In the case at bar there is nothing in the circumstances or the declarations of the
parties to indicate that Stewart, the president of District No. 21, or Hull, its
secretary-treasurer, or any of their accomplices, had in mind interference with
interstate commerce or competition when they entered upon their unlawful
combination to break up Bache's plan to carry on his mines with nonunion men.
The circumstances were ample to supply a full local motive for the conspiracy.
Stewart said: 'We are not going to let them dig coal—the scabs.' His attention
and that of his men was fastened on the presence of nonunion men in the mines
in that local community. The circumstance that a car loaded with coal and
billed to a town in Louisiana was burned by the conspirators has no significance
upon this head. The car had been used in the battle by some of Bache's men for
defense. It offered protection, and its burning was only a part of the general
Bache's breach of his contract with the District No. 21, in employing nonunion
men three months before it expired, his attempt to evade his obligation by a
hugger-mugger of his numerous corporations, his advertised anticipation of
trespass and violence by warning notices, by inclosing his mining premises
with a cable and stationing guards with guns to defend them, all these, in the
heart of a territory that had been completely unionized for years, were
calculated to arouse a bitterness of spirit entirely local among the union miners
against a policy that brought in strangers, and excluded themselves or their
union colleagues from the houses they had occupied and the wages they had
enjoyed. In the letter which Bache dictated, in favor of operating the mines on a
nonunion basis, he said:
'To do this means a bitter fight, but in my opinion it can be accomplished by
Bache also testified that he was entering into a matter he knew was perilous and
dangerous to his companies, because in that section there was only one other
mine running on a nonunion basis. Nothing of this is recited to justify in the
slightest the lawlessness and outrages committed, but only to point out that as it
was a local strike within the meaning of the International and district
constitutions, so it was in fact a local strike, local in its origin and motive, local
in its waging, and local in its felonious and murderous ending.
But it is said that these district officers and their lieutenants among the miners
must be charged with an intention to do what would be the natural result of
their own acts, that they must have known that obstruction to mining coal in the
Bache-Denman mines would keep 75 per cent. of their output from being
shipped out of the state into interstate competition, and to that extent would
help union operators in their competition for business. In a national production
of from 10,000,000 to 15,000,000 tons a week, or in a production in District
No. 21 of 150,000 tons a week, 5,000 tons a week, which the Bache-Denman
mines in most prosperous times could not exceed, would have no appreciable
effect upon the price of coal or nonunion competition. The saving in the price
per ton of coal under nonunion conditions was said by plaintiff's witnesses to be
from 17 to 20 cents; but surely no one would say that such saving on 5,000 tons
would have a substantial effect on prices of coal in interstate commerce. Nor
could it be inferred that Bache intended to cut the price of coal. His purpose
was probably to pocket the profit that such a reduction made possible. If it be
said that what District No. 21 feared was that, if Bache were successful, the
defection among union operators would spread, and ultimately the whole
district field of District No. 21 in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas would
become nonunion, and interstate commerce would then be substantially
affected, it may be answered that this is remote, and no statement or
circumstance appears in the record from which it can be inferred that the
participants in the local strike had such a possibility in mind, or thought they
were thus protecting union operators in a control or monopoly of interstate
commerce. The result of our consideration of the entire record is that there was
no evidence submitted to the jury upon which they properly could find that the
outrages, felonies, and murders of District 21 and its companions in crime were
committed by them in a conspiracy to restrain or monopolize interstate
commerce. The motion to direct the jury to return a verdict for the defendants
should have been granted.
Fifth. These conclusions make it unnecessary to examine the objection which
the plaintiffs in error make to the supplemental charge of the court.
The case has been prepared by counsel for the plaintiffs with rate assiduity and
ability. The circumstances are such as to awaken regret that, in our view of the
federal jurisdiction, we cannot affirm the judgment. But it is of far higher
importance that we should preserve inviolate the fundamental limitations in
respect to the federal jurisdiction.
The judgment is reversed, and the case remanded to the District Court for
further proceedings in conformity to this opinion.
1. Legalization of labor unions and labor combinations:
The Clayton Act—approved October 15, 1914, § 6, 38 Stat. 730, 731
(Comp. St. § 8835f). California—Penal Code 1906, p. 581. Colorado—
Rev. Stats. 1908, § 3924. Maryland—Supp. Anno. Code 1913, art. 27, §
40. Massachusetts—Chapter 778, approved July 7, 1914. Minnesota—
Chapter 493, approved April 21, 1917 (Gen. St. Supp. 1917, §§ 3946-1 to
3946-6). Nevada—Rev. Laws 1912, § 6801. New Jersey—Comp. Stats.
1910, § 128, p. 3051. New York—Penal Law (Consol. Laws 1909, c. 40) §
582. North Dakota—Rev. Code 1905, § 8770. Oklahoma—Rev. Laws
1910. § 3764. Pennsylvania—Dig. Statute Law 1920, § 21247. Texas—
Rev. Civ. Stats. 1911, arts. 5244-5246. Utah—Chapter 68, approved
March 8, 1917; Laws 1917, c. 68, § 1. West Virginia—Acts 1907, c. 78, §
19 (Code 1913, c. 15h, § 28 [sec. 487]).
2. Exemption from anti-trust laws by statute or judicial decisions:
California—Acts 1909, c. 362, § 13. Iowa—Rohlf v. Kasemeier, 140
Iowa, 182, 118 N. W. 276, 23 L. R. A. (N. S.) 1284, 132 Am. St. Rep.
267, 17 Ann. Cas. 750. Louisiana—Acts 1892, Act No. 90, § 8; Rev.
Laws 1897, p. 205. Michigan—Comp. Laws 1897, § 11382. Montana—
Rev. Code 1907, § 8289; Acts 1909, c. 97, § 2. New Hampshire—Laws
1917, c. 177, § 7.Nebraska—State v. Employers, 102 Neb. 768, 169 N. W.
717, 170 N. W. 185. Wisconsin—Stats. 1913, § 1747h.
3. Right given to labor unions to sue to enjoin infringement of registered
union label or trademark:
Arkansas—Acts 1905, Act 309, § 7. Colorado—Mills' Supp. 1891-1905, §
2985; Rev. Stats. 1908, § 6848. Florida—Gen. Laws 1906, § 3172.
Idaho—Rev. Code 1908, § 1453. Illinois—Rev. Stats. 1908, c. 140, § 4.
Iowa—Code 1897, § 5050. Kansas—Gen. Stats. 1915, § 11657.
Kentucky—Stats. 1903, c. 130, § 4750. Louisiana Acts 1898, Act No. 49,
§ 5. Maryland—Supp. Anno. Code 1914, art. 27, § 53. Montana—Rev.
Code 1907, § 8455. Nebraska—Comp. Stats. 1913, § 3570. Nevada—Rev.
Laws 1912, § 4636. New Hampshire—Laws 1895, c. 42, § 4. New York—
Labor Law (Consol. Laws 1909, c. 31) § 16. Oregon—Bellinger &
Cotton's Anno. Stats. 1902, § 1845. Pennsylvania—Acts 1901, Act No.
84, § 4; Dig. Statute Law 1920, § 21241. Rhode Island—Gen. Laws 1909,
c. 196, § 5. South Dakota—Rev. Code 1903, § 3194. Tennessee—Acts
1905, c. 21, § 6. Texas—Civil St. 1911, § 705. Vermont—Laws 1908, Act
No. 121, § 5. Virginia Code 1904, § 1906d, par. (5). Washington—Rem. &
Bal. Code 1910, § 9496. West Virginia—Acts 1901, c. 5, § 5; Code 1913,
§ 3582. Wisconsin—Stats. 1911, c. 84a, § 1747a5. Wyoming—Comp.
Stats. 1910, c. 218, § 3441.
4. Unauthorized use of registered union label or trade-mark made an
Alabama—Code 1907, §§ 7322, 7323. Arizona—Penal Code, §§ 355-358.
Arkansas—Acts 1905, Act No. 309, § 8 (amended by chapter 131, Acts
1909). California—Political Code 1906, §§ 3200-3201; Penal Code 1906,
§§ 349a-351 (amended by chapter 181, Acts 1911). Colorado—Mills'
Supp. 1891-1905, §§ 2985l to 2985s; Rev. Stats. 1908, § 6844.
Connecticut—Gen. Stats. 1902, §§ 4907-4912 (amended by chapter 151,
Acts 1907). Delaware—Acts 1899, c. 266. Florida Gen Stats. 1906, §§
3169-3172. Georgia—Civ. Code 1910, §§ 1989-1992. Idaho—Rev. Codes
1908, §§ 1449-1455. Illinois—Rev. Stats. 1908, c. 140, §§ 1-7. Indiana—
Anno. Stats. 1901, §§ 8693-8703; 3 Burns' Anno. Stats. 1908, §§ 1045310463. Iowa—Code 1897, §§ 5049-5051. Kansas—Gen. Stats. 1909, §§
9675-9680; Gen. Stats. 1915, §§ 11654-11659. Kentucky—Stats. 1903, §§
4749-4755. Louisiana—Acts 1898, Act No. 49. Maine—Rev. Stats. 1903,
c. 40, §§ 30-36. Maryland—Pub. Laws 1904, art. 27, §§ 43-48.
Massachusetts—Pub. Laws 1902, c. 72, §§ 7-14. Michigan—Comp. Laws
1897, §§ 11681-11686 (amended by chapter 279, Acts 1913).
Minnesota—Rev. Laws 1905, §§ 5072-5076. Missouri—Rev. Stats. 1909,
§§ 11789-11796. Montana—Penal Code 1907, §§ 8452-8457. Nebraska—
Comp. Stats. 1911, §§ 4169-4173. Nevada—Rev. Laws 1912, §§ 46354637. New Hampshire—Acts 1895, c. 42. New Jersey—Comp. Stats.
1910, p. 1802, § 196, pp. 5643-5648. New York—Labor Law (Consol.
Laws 1909, c. 31) §§ 15, 16. Ohio—Gen. Code 1910, §§ 6219-6227,
13102, 13103, 13153-13155; Acts 1911, p. 420. Oklahoma Rev. Laws
1910, §§ 8211-8217. Oregon—Anno. Codes and Stats. 1902, §§ 18411848. Pennsylvania—Dig. Statute Law 1920, §§ 21236-21243. Rhode
Island—Gen. Laws 1909, c. 196. South Dakota—Pollitical Code 1903, §§
3190-3195. Tennessee—Acts 1905, c. 21. Texas—Rev. Civ. Stats. 1911,
arts. 705, 706; Rev. Pen. Code, arts. 1395, 1396. Utah—Comp. Laws
1907, §§ 2720-2723, 4482, 4483. Vermont—Pub. Stats. 1906, §§ 49624967; Acts 1908, No. 121. Virginia—Code 1904, § 1906d. Washington—
Rem. & Bal. Code 1910, §§ 9492-9500. West Virginia—Acts 1901, c. 5;
Hogg's Code, §§ 3578-3585; Code W. Va., §§ 3583, 3584. Wisconsin—
Stats. 1911, § 1747a. Wyoming—Comp. Stats. 1910, §§ 3439-3444.
5. Unauthorized use of union card, badge, or insignia made an offense:
California—Acts 1909, c. 331. Connecticut—Acts 1907, c. 113, §
2.Massachusetts—Acts 1909, c. 514, § 32. Minnesota—Rev. Laws 1905,
§ 5053, par. 4. Montana—Rev. Code 1907, § 8866. New York Penal Law
(Consol. Laws 1909, c. 40) § 1278. Ohio—Gen. Code 1910, § 13163.
Oregon—Acts 1911, c. 73, §§ 1, 3. Pennsylvania—Dig. Statute Law 1920,
§ 1050. Texas—Rev. Pen. Code 1911, art. 425. Virginia—Acts 1908, c.
54, § 1.
6. Right to participate in selection of membership of boards of arbitration
in labor controversies:
Alabama—Acts 1911, p. 320, § 6. Alaska—Acts 1913, c. 70, § 2. Iowa—
Acts 1913, c. 292, §§ 1, 2. Indiana—Anno. Stats, 1901, § 7050, e. f.
Idaho—Rev. Code 1908, §§ 1430, 1431. Louisiana—Rev. Stats. 1897, p.
20, Act. No. 139; Acts of 1894, § 1. Minnesota Rev. Laws 1905, § 1828.
Nevada—Rev. Laws 1912, § 1930. Nebraska Rev. Stats. 1913, § 3638.
Texas—Rev. Civ. Stats. 1911, art. 71.
7. Right to have member of union on board of arbitrators:
Connecticut—Gen. Stats. 1902, sec. 4708. Illinois—Hurd's Rev. Stats.
1905, c. 10, § 19. Indiana—Anno. Stats. 1901, § 7050b. Idaho—Rev.
Code 1908, § 1427. Massachusetts—Acts 1909, c. 514, § 10. Maine—
Acts 1909, c. 229, § 2. Missouri—Rev. Stats. 1909, § 7802. Montana—
Rev. Code 1907, §§ 1670, 1671. Nebraska—Rev. Stats. 1913, § 3633.
New Hampshire—Acts 1911, c. 198, § 3, as amended by chapter 186, Acts
1913. South Carolina—Acts 1916, Act No. 545, § 8. Utah—Comp. Laws
1907, § 1324. Vermont—Acts 1912, Act No. 190, § 1.
8. Embezzlement of funds of oabor union made a special offense:
Nebraska—Rev. Stats. 1913, § 8659. New Hampshire—Pub. Stats. 1891,
c. 273, § 17, as amended by Acts 1905, c. 1. Pennsylvania Dig. Statute
Law 1920, § 21252.
9. Bribery of union representative made an offense:
Nevada—Rev. Laws 1912, § 6794. New Jersey—Acts 1911, c. 94, § 1.
New York—Penal Law (Consol. Laws 1909, c. 40), § 380.
10. All public printing to bear union label:
Maryland—Pub. Civ. Laws 1911, art. 78, § 9. Montana—Rev. Code
1907, § 254. Nevada—Rev. Laws 1912, § 4309.