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Central Government itself to take the initiative. The important con-
ditions specified for the constitution and procedure of the councils
were that they should be composed of equal numbers of employers and
workmen, each of those classes electing their delegates ; that the pres-
ident, chosen ordinarily by the members, but whose office in case of
need might be exercised by a justice of the peace, was to be only a
presiding officer with no vote; that the council might, however, on
request of all the parties interested, appoint an umpire or arbitrator ;
that the councils might meet at any time they chose, but could be
convened at the call of the mayor of the commune, and must meet on
demand of one-half of the members; and that reports of the pro-
ceedings of the councils were to be filed with the justice of the peace.

LAW OF AUGUST 16, 1887.

This plan recommended by the commission was patterned after the
" joint committees " for conciliation and arbitration established
under private initiative in England, and was confined simply to the
question of settlement of disputes. The Belgian Parliament, how-
ever, manifested a decided preference for a very different scheme,
which was embodied in a law of August 16, 1887, in which the settle-
ment of disputes was but one part, and that a secondary one, in a larger
system. This system was essentially a combination of suggestions
made to the commission on labor by M. Hector Denis, professor of
political economy in the University of Brussels, with the features of
a private arbitration tribunal established for the boot and shoe indus-
try, which had also been submitted to the commission. ()


The law of 1887 provides for councils of industry and labor, whose
role is declared to be " to deliberate upon the common interests of
employers and employees, to prevent, and, if necessary, adjust dif-
ferences which may arise between them."( & ) The essential fea-
tures in the constitution and procedure of these councils, as quite
briefly prescribed in the act, are as follows: They are to be estab-
lished by royal decree in every locality where their utility is clear.
This establishment may be either at the will of the Royal Govern-
ment, or upon request of communal councils, or upon application

a The above facts concerning the passage of the Belgian law are" taken from
the report of the French bureau of labor, De la Conciliation et de 1'Arbitrage
dans les Conflits Collectifs entre Patrons et Ouvriers en France et & 1'Etranger,
1893, pp. 432 ff.

& Art. I of the law.


of employers or working people. Each council has as many sec-
tions as there are distinct industries in the locality. The section,
which is the unit in the system, represents, therefore, a single indus-
try in one locality and is composed of equal numbers of representa-
tives, not less than six nor more than twelve, elected by employers
and laborers separately, and the members choose a president and a
secretary from their own number. As to procedure for the election
of members, the statute simply prescribes that the regulations fixed
by law for the election of members of the councils of prudhommes,
or industrial courts, are to be followed. But by royal decrees of
August 15, 1889, March 10, 1893 (the principal one), and of March
26 and April 11, 1897, this whole matter qualification of electors and
members, preparation of electoral lists, nomination of candidates,
balloting, contested elections, etc. is regulated in great detail. Each
section must hold at least one meeting a year, at the time and place
indicated by the permanent committee of the provincial council, but
is to be convened at any time by the said committee upon the request
of either employers or laborers. The communes are required to fur-
nish the necessary meeting places for councils or sections. The coun-
cil of any locality or several sections of the same or different locali-
ties may be summoned at any time by royal decree to a general as-
sembly to give their advice upon any subject of general interest con-
cerning labor or industry which the King may see fit to submit to
them. These assemblies elect their own president and secretary, but
the Government may appoint a commissioner to take part in the
deliberations. In case of all the above-mentioned meetings of coun-
cils or sections or of assemblies, the subject to be considered and the
length of the session are strictly determined by the convening order
either of the permanent committee of the provincial council or the
royal decree, and no other subject may be taken up. Members are
allowed a per diem compensation for attendance at general assemblies,
to be paid by the province in which the assembly is. held. Finally,
the one brief section dealing specifically with the subject of disputes
provides simply that whenever circumstances appear to demand it,
at the request of either party, the governor of the province, the
mayor of the commune, or the president of the section for the indus-
try in which the dispute occurs must convene that section, which is
to endeavor by conciliation to arrange a settlement. If this effort is
unsuccessful, a report of the proceedings is to be made public.

The function of the Belgian councils' of industry and labor is thus
threefold: (1) To give information or advice to the Government,
(2) to furnish employers and employees the means for conference and
discussion of common interests before the emergence of differences,
and (3) to adjust any disputes that may arise. The first of these is








Statistician in the New York State Department of Labor





Re-bound from Bulletin No. 60 of the
United States Bureau of Labor




Statistician in the New York State Department of Labor









Re-bound from Bulletin No. 60 of the
United States Bureau of Labor



Introduction 389

Great Britain 389

Laws prior to 1824 390

The Consolidation Act, 1824 390

Lord St. Leonard's Act, 1867

Passage 39 1

Essential features 392

Causes of failure 394

The Arbitration (Masters and Workmen) Act, 1872 395

Essential features 395

Failure 397

The Conciliation Act, 1896 397

History of passage 397

Recommendations of Royal Commission on Labor (1894) 399

Essential features 403

Rusults in practice 404

Registration and establishment of private boards 404

Settlement of disputes 405

France 410

Measures proposed prior to 1892 410

The Conciliation and Arbitration Law of 1892 411

Passage 411

Essential features 412

Settlement of disputes under the law 413

Belguim 419

Law of August 16, 1887 420

Provisions of the law 420

Establishment of councils of labor and industry 422

Settlement of disputes under the law 424

Proposed revision (1899) 427

The Netherlands 428

Law of May 2, 1897 428

General provisions 429

Provisions for intervention in disputes 430

Establishment of chambers of labor 431

Settlement of disputes under the law 432

Germany 438

Law of July 29, 1890, for industrial courts (Gewerbegerichte)

Origin and general character

Provisions relative to collective disputes 439

Settlement of disputes under the law 442

Amendment of 1901 442

Settlement of disputes under amendment of 1901 443

Law of 1904 for mercantile courts (Kaufmannsgerichte) 445

Austria 445

Mining guilds law of August 14, 1896 445

Provisions respecting settlement of disputes 445

Settlement of disputes by mining guilds 446

The factory-inspection law of June 7, 1883 447

Duties of inspectors as mediators 447

Settlementof^disputes by inspectors 447





Switzerland 448

Laws concerning industrial courts 448

Provisions for collective disputes in laws of

Geneva (law of Oct. 19, 1882 and amendments) 448

Vaud (law of Nov. 26, 1888 and amendment) 449

Lucerne (law of Feb. 16, 1892) 450

Bern (law of Feb. 1, 1894) 450

Results in practice 450

Special laws for collective disputes and results 450

Basel Stadt (law of May 20, 1897) 450

St Gallen (decree of Feb. 25, 1902) 453

Geneva (laws of Feb. 10, 1900 and March 26, 1904) 454

Italy 458

Law of June 15, 1893, for industrial courts 458

Settlement of collective disputes under the law 459

Denmark 460

Act of April 3, 1900, conferring powers on private court of abritration . . 460

Settlement of disputes by the arbitration court 461

New Zealand 462

Law of August 31, 1894, and amendments 462

Origin and passage 462

Essential features of New Zealand system 464

Administration 464

Procedure 465

Enforcement of awards and agreements 467

Jurisdiction 469

Extension of awards 472

Dependence upon attitude of organized labor 475

Operation of arbitration system 476

Registration of unions 476

Work of conciliation boards 478

Work of court of arbitration 483

Personnel of the court . 483

Procedure 484

Growth in amount of court's work 485

Balance of results in awards favorable to employees 487

Principles followed in awards as to

Preference to unionists 488

Wages 492

Hours of work 499

Apprentices and youths 500

Enforcement of awards and agreements 501

Degree of industrial peace secured 509

Effect on industrial prosperity 513

Attitude of public opinion 518

Australia 518

Victoria 518

Act of 1891 519

Summary 519

Failure 520

Proposed compulsory arbitration 520

New South Wales 522

The Trade Disputes Conciliation and Arbitration Act, 1892 523

Essential features 523

Results in practice 525

The Conciliation and Arbitration Act, 1899 528

Chief provisions 528

Results in practice 529

The compulsory arbitration law of 1901 530

Inception and passage 530

Essential features as compared with New Zealand 531

Operation 535

South Australia 536

The Conciliation Act, 1894 536

Summary of provisions 536

Failure in practice 540


Australia continued

Western Australia 541

Compulsory arbitration acts of 1900 and 1902 541

Comparison with New Zealand laws 541

Operation 543

Commonwealth of Australia 543

Compulsory arbitration system under law of 1904 543

Administration 544

Jurisdiction 544

Procedure 546

Enforcement of awards 547


The Dominion Government - 548

Recommendation of royal commission on labor, 1886 548

The Conciliation Act of 1900 549

Comparison with British Act of 1896 549

Results in practice 550

The Railway Labor Disputes Act., 1903 553

Framing and passage 553

Essential features 554

Results in practice 556

Ontario 558

The Trades Arbitration Act, 1873, amendment of 1890 and their failure . . 558

The Trade Disputes Act, 1894 559

Comparison with New South Wales law of 1892 559

Amendment of 1897 559

Results in practice 560

Amendment of 1902 and results 561

Nova Scotia 562

The mines arbitration acts 562

Law of 1888 and its failure 562

Law of 1890 and amendments of 1901 563

Results under law of 1890 564

The Conciliation Act, 1903 564

Comparison with British Act of 1896 and operation 565

British Columbia ! 565

The Bureau of Labor Statistics and Industrial Disputes Conciliation

and Arbitration Act, 1893, and its failure 565

The Labor Conciliation and Arbitration Act, 1894 566

Essential features 566

Failure 567

Quebec 567

The Trade Disputes Act of 1901 and amendment of 1903 567

Results in practice 568

South America 569

^Argentina (decree of October 20, 1904) 569

The United States 570

Federal laws 570

The law of 1888 570

Essential features 570

Chicago strike commission 573

The law of 1898 575

Essential features 575

Comparison with recommendations of Chicago strike commission 578

Operation 579

State laws. 579

Enumeration and classification 579

Local arbitration with no permanent agency 580

Maryland law of 1878 580

New Jersey laws of 1880 and 1886 581

Pennsylvania law of 1893 582

Texas law of 1895. 582

Provisions for local arbitration in State board laws 584

Common features of local arbitration laws 585



The United States continued
State laws continued

District or county boards established by private parties 585

Pennsylvania law of 1883 (Wallace Act) 585

Ohio law of 1885 (Ryan Act) 587

Iowa law of 1886 587

Kansas law of 1886 ' - 588

Characteristic features of laws in this group 588

Intervention of State labor commissioners 588

Colorado provision of 1887 588

North Dakota provision of 1890 588

Missouri law of 1889 589

Washington law of 1903 589

Maryland law of 1904 : . . 590

State boards of conciliation and arbitration 591

Essential features of the laws in California, Colorado, Connecticut,
Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mis-
souri, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Utah and Wis-
consin 592

Constitution and powers of boards 592

Jurisdiction 596

Procedure 597

Mediation and conciliation 597

Arbitration 599

Authoritative investigation 602

The Indiana law 603

The Idaho law 605

The Kansas Court of Visitation (1898) 605

Results under State laws 606

Local arbitration with no permanent agency 606

Maryland and New Jersey 606

Pennsylvania 607

Texas^ 607

Under State board laws 607

District or county boards established by private parties 607

Pennsylvania 607

Ohio 609

Iowa and Kansas 609

Intervention by State labor commissioners 609

North Dakota 609

Colorado 610

Missouri 610

Washington 611

Maryland 612

State boards of conciliation and arbitration '. 612

Boards active relatively little or not at all (in alphabetical order) . . 612

California 613

Colorado 613

Connecticut 615

Idaho 616

Louisiana r 616

Michigan 617

Minnesota 618

Montana 618

Utah 619

The more active boards (in order according to age) 619

New York 620

Massachusetts 628

New Jersey 638

Ohio 641

Wisconsin 644

Illinois 645

Indian . . a 650

Missouri . . 653








Briefly characterized this paper is a statistical account of laws and
their results. Within its scope are included all laws in any land
which have been enacted for the purpose of providing means for the
settlement of collective industrial disputes. The aim has been to
present as fully and accurately as possible both the essential features
of such laws and the important facts as to their operation. The
record has been brought as closely down to date (1905) as the neces-
sary reports and documents available would permit, and so far as
possible only official sources have been used. All the sources used
will be found referred to either in the text or in footnotes.


One characteristic feature of collective industrial disputes being
combined action by employees to better the conditions of labor, there
was naturally no legislation in Great Britain for arbitration or con-
ciliation in such cases until the repeal of the combination laws,
which prohibited under severe penalties all combinations of workmen,
in 1824 permitted concerted action on the part of employees. Coinci-
dent with that repeal ( a ) an arbitration act was passed, since known as
the Consolidation Act. ( 6 ) That law, though in force until 1896, did
not contemplate collective disputes, however, and belongs with the

a 5 Geo. IV, ch. 95. 6 5 Geo. IV, ch. 96.



earlier regime of State regulation of the labor contract and suppres-
sion of combination, rather than with the modern system of free con-
tract and combination. A glance at earlier legislation will make
this clear.

Prior to 1824 a long series of laws, going back as far as the
Statute of Apprentices in 1562, ( a ) had contained provisions for the
settlement of individual disputes between masters and servants.
Prior to 1747 these provisions appear in acts containing various other
labor regulations," but in that year a special law, ( & ) dealing solely
with the settlement of disputes, appears. This law, like all the
earlier provisions, simply referred disputes to the justices of the
peace or local magistrates, in harmony with the existing method of
State regulation, which, as embodied in the Statute of Apprentices,
had designated those same officials as the authorities to fix the rates
of wages for labor generally.

After 1747 the next special act dealing with disputes was passed in
1800. The cotton industr}^, rapidl} 7 growing under the transforming
influence of the industrial revolution,was the field upon which the strug-
gle between the old system of State regulation and the new principle
of free competition in determining the conditions of labor was fought
out in the closing years of the eighteenth and the opening years of
the nineteenth centuries. The outward manifestation of this strife
appeared in a multiplication of disputes between masters and
weavers, which inspired four laws providing for their settlement.
These applied only to the cotton trade, the first being passed in 1800
for England, ( c ) the second for Scotland in 1803, ( d ) the third in 1804
replacing the former act for England, ( e ) while the fourth for Ire-
land was passed in 1813. (f) These last three laws were practically
identical. They differed from earlier laws for the settlement of dis-
putes chiefly in providing for arbitration by two referees appointed,
one by the employer and the other by the employee, from nominations
made by a justice of the peace, with reference for final decision
to the justice only when those two could not agree. In common with
the earlier statutes, they made reference of disputes compulsory upon
the complaint of either party, and decisions were likewise compulsory,
being enforceable by proceedings of distress and sale, or imprison-
ment, before a justice of the peace.


When the select committee of the House of Commons in 1824
reported in favor of the repeal of the combination laws, it also
reported that " the practice of settling disputes by arbitration be-

<* 5 Eliz., ch. 4. a 43 Geo. Ill, ch. 151.

&20 Geo. II, ch. 19. *44 Geo. Ill, cli. 87.

c 39-40 Geo. Ill, ch. 90. / 53 Geo. Ill, ch. 75.


tween masters and workmen has been attended with good effects, and
it is desirable that the laws which direct and regulate arbitration
should be consolidated, amended, and made applicable to all trades."
Accordingly, the Consolidation Act was passed, which was nothing
more nor less than a consolidation hence, its name of the three
existing laws for the cotton industry, and simply extended the sys-
tem there provided to all trades. Like those acts, it was drawn for
disputes between employers and individual workmen only, but in
one respect its jurisdiction in such cases was narrower than theirs.
Under the system of regulation of wages by justices of the peace,
there was no occasion in the arbitration acts to draw a distinction
between disputes over existing contracts and those as to future con-
tracts. But the principle of freedom of contract as to the terms of
employment having been established by the repeal of the Statute
of Apprentices in 1814, a clause was inserted in the Consolidation Act
prohibiting any justice of the peace in rendering awards to " establish
a rate of wages or price of labor or workmanship at which the work-
men shall in future be paid, unless with the mutual consent of both
master and workmen."

The Consolidation Act of 1824 remained in force until 1896. It was
slightly amended in some details in 1837 by 1 Viet., ch. 67, and in
1845 by 8-9 Viet., chs. 77 and 128, but it was practically a dead letter
from its passage.


In 1867 a law was passed which enabled private councils of con-
ciliation or arbitration, established voluntarily by employers and
workmen, to exercise the powers which had been conferred upon
referees under the Consolidation Act and earlier laws. It embodied
the recommendations of a select committee of the House of Commons
appointed in 1856 to " inquire into the expediency of establishing
equitable tribunals for the amicable adjustment of differences be-
tween masters and operatives." The mover of the committee stated
that he made his motion on account of the " great inconvenience from
the want of equitable tribunals by means of which any difference
between masters and operatives might be satisfactorily adjusted,"
and also in order " to ascertain whether the conseils des prud'hommes
in France had answered the purpose for which they were established."
He asserted also that " great dissatisfaction existed at that time among
operatives of this country in consequence of the want of some such
tribunal. "()

The report of this committee was presented in the same year. ( 6 )
It stated that a considerable majority of the large number of wit-

o Hansard's Debates, 3d series, Vol. CXL, pp. 982, 983.
& Parliamentary Papers, 1856, Vol. XIII.


nesses examined concurred in favoring boards of arbitration. As to 1
the constitution of such boards, however, and still more as to what
their jurisdiction should be, they found much difference of opinion. '
It was pointed out that the Consolidation Act of 1824 had been almost
entirely inoperative mainly because it required parties to go before
a magistrate, by whom the arbitrators were to be appointed, and
this the workmen were very unwilling to do, either because it bore
the appearance of a criminal proceeding or because the magistrates
in industrial centers, as a rule, belonged to the manufacturing
class. Other objection was found to that law on the ground that, as
the arbitrators were to be appointed as each dispute arose, one must
practically refer his case to an unknown set of men. Finally, the
committee noted that several attempts had been made to establish sys-
tems of arbitration without the intervention of law and that these had
been successful while they lasted, but had generally been of short
duration. In view of these facts the committee favored councils
voluntarily established by employers and workmen and recom-
mended, in order to give such councils permanence and legal standing,
that provision be made for granting them a Government license, under
which they could exercise the powers specified in the law of 1824 for
compelling the attendance of witnesses and enforcing awards. Com-
pulsory awards, however, the committee thought should be confined
to disputes under existing contracts, and they opposed granting any
power to regulate wages forcibly, though expressing the opinion
that disputes over future wage rates would be frequently referred to
the proposed courts by mutual agreement of the parties.

A bill embodying these ideas was introduced by the committee's
chairman ( a ) in 1859, but too late for passage at that session. Seven
years later, in 1866, the same measure was again introduced and
passed the Commons, but died in the House of Lords. Finally, in
1867, it was again brought forward and became the Councils of Con-
ciliation Act of August 15, 1867, ( & ) often called Lord St. Leonard's
Act, after the author of the bill of 1867.

The general content of this act has already been indicated. It
laid down a number of detailed requirements as to constitution and
procedure which must be fulfilled by private councils in order to
secure the license permitting them to compel the attendance of
witnesses and enforce awards as in the law of 1824. These were
patterned after the French system of industrial courts in the councils
of prudhommes, the more important ones being as follows: Coun-
cils must consist of not less than two nor more than ten each of mas-
ters and of workmen, with a chairman chosen by the members, but
who must be " some person unconnected with trade." I Members must
be elected for terms of one year, the employers and employ ses elect-

Online LibraryLeonard Williams HatchGovernment industrial arbitration → online text (page 1 of 32)