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Vol. 3, No. 3, pp. 409-447 September 27, 1913






The almost universal demand of American trade-unions for
the union shop, popularly known as the closed shop, takes
three forms: first, that only union men of good standing shall
be employed and that union conditions of work shall prevail;
second, that materials made by union men and under union con-
ditions shall be used; third, that members of the union recog-
nized as the legitimate union for the specified work shall be

The third of these demands involves what are known through-
out the trade-union world as jurisdictional or demarcation
disputes. These are conflicts between the different unions over
the kinds of work to be allotted to each. They are, in other words,
the attempt of organized labor to find the "fair" man or the
"fair" union that is to be given the particular piece of work.
These disputes are comparatively little known outside of the trade-
union world and among the employers of union labor. In fact,
the trade-unionist himself does not refer to them often outside
of conventions and trade-union meetings and conferences with

The employer knows of these internecine disputes at times to
his sorrow, at other times to his benefit. The general public, its
attention riveted to the better known phases of the union shop
question, has either never he:)):! of jurisdictional disputes, or if
it has, does not interest itself in what appears to be a "Kil-
kennv". This lack of knowledge does not betoken lack of import-

410 University of California Puhlications in Economics [Vol. a

ance. There is scarcely a trade-union of size or importance in
the United States which has not had one or more jurisdictional
disputes — many of them serious and at times involving the life
of the union itself.

For the last decade their adjustment has been one of the
chief concerns of the Executive Council of the American Federa-
tion of Labor, to say nothing of the numerous conference commit-
tees of the individual unions, which with varying success have
been considering these questions. Furthermore, with no question
has organized labor up to this time been so helpless.

Jurisdictional disputes result from: (1) Similarity of craft
technique, which renders accurate demarcation l^etween crafts
difficult. (2) Changes in the technique of industry, which
transforms the skill requirements of a particular kind of work
and thus brings a new group of workers into competition for it.
(3) The introduction of new commodities, which either partially
or entirely supersede the older commodity. (4) Political, social
and geographical divisions among workers in the same craft,
resulting in the formation of dual unions. (5) Personal ambi-
tion and jealousy of leaders of different factions. (6) Structural
differences of unions, which may be the result of any one, or any
combination, of the foregoing causes of dispute.

It is my purpose to discuss jurisdictional disputes arising from
structural differences of the unions. These disputes center
around the industrial union.

The completed and perfected form of the industrial union
gathers into one union, not only all the subdivisions of a craft,
but all the trades directly associated with the industry. Thus,
the Brewery Workmen, not content with the control of the men
directly employed in the process of beer-brewing, have organized
the bottlers, coopers, painters, teamsters, freight-handlers,
engineers and firemen, in short, every manual workman employed
in or about the brewery. For years the Longshoremen, an indus-
trial union, made no attempt to extend its jurisdiction beyond
actual longshore work, but in 1902 this union extended its juris-
diction into that claimed by the Seamen. The Seamen them-
selves have conflicted with the Hotel and Restaurant Employees
in their demand for jurisdiction over cooks and stewards on

1913] Blum: J urisdicl ioiuti Dispiilcs in Trade Unions 411

shipboard. The United Mineworkers insist <,n controlling' the
engineers and firemen.

It is simple enough to recognize the above-mentioned nnions
as industrial, but what is to be said of the numerous unions
which, though not completely industrial, show industrial ten-
dencies? It is a most unnatural distinction to call the United
Mine Workers an industrial union because it has affiliated the
engineers and firemen, and on the other hand to call the Butcher
Workmen, Carriage and Wagon Workmen, Wood Workers,
Piano and Organ Workmen, etc., trade or craft unions because
they have not affiliated all the subsidiary trades. The Butcher
Workmen as a type union is certainly closer in structure to the
Brewery Workmen than it is to the Bricklayers and Masons. It
is necassary, therefore, to classify this great and growing group
of unions as semi-industrial rather than as craft unions.

Furthermore there are certain unions, which in their main
design are properly considered craft unions, vrhich have shown
and continue to show industrial tendencies. Thus when the
United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners attempts to con-
trol sash and trim work made in shops by machinery, it is
unquestionalDly changing the boundaries of the carpenters' and
joiners' trades. The International Typographical Union after
the introduction of the linotype succeeded in affiliating the
machine tenders of the linotype, after a struggle with the Ma-
chinists' Union. Certainly from purely craft considerations the
machine tenders in printing shops belonged to the Machinists'

Enough has been said to indicate that there are three types
of unions which show a tendency to industrialization :

(1) The perfected type, which attempts to include all those
working directly upon the product, together with the subsidiary

(2) The "trade amalgamation," which attempts to organ-
ize into one union all or most of the crafts making up the trade,
but not all the subsidiary crafts, e.g.. Carriage and Wagon
Workers, Piano and Organ Workers, and Car Builders.

(3) The trade or craft union which shows industrial ten-
dencies, e.g.. Carpenters and .loincrs.

412 University of California Publications in Economics [Vol. 3

We will first consider the disp^^tes caused by the perfected
type. It will be noted that, with the exception of the dispute
between the Seamen and the Longshoremen, the conflicts have
been between the industrial and the craft union.

In the controversy between the International Longshoremen,
Marine and Transport Workers Association and the International
Seamen 's Union of America we have an illiLstration of two indus-
trial unions fighting each other. The Seamen defined their
jurisdiction as follows: "The word Seamen shall be interpreted
to include all unions whose members make a living by following
the sea, lake, or river in any capacity in steam or sailing vessels."^
Prior to July 1, 1902, the title of the Longshoremen's Associa-
tion was International Longshoremen's Association. It was then
changed to the International Longshoremen, j\Iarine and Trans-
port Workers Association. -

This change of name marked the culmination of the policy
of expansion of this association. We can trace with comparative
ease the increasing scope of the union. In 1899 the craft included
lumber handlers, ore trimmers, coal unloaders, grain handlers,
hoisters and engineers, freight handlers and miscellaneous long-
shore workers.^

It will be noted that while including all longshore work, and
though highly industralized, there is no trade included which
conflicts with other unions except engineers. In 1900, not taking
into account some minor subdivisions of crafts already affiliated,*
there was no general expansion of jurisdiction. In the" following
3^ear we have the first definite intimation of the policy of expan-
sion of the Longshoremen. "There are to-day several organiza-
tions of maritime workers, namely: The International Seamen's
Union, the Marine Engineers' and Pilots' Association. While

1 Art. 1., Seamen's Constitution, 1902.

It was recognized by the Seamen that Master Pilots and Marine Engineers
could not be ' ' trade unionists in the accepted sense ' ', but the Seamen
desired them to be on terms of mutual helpfulness. — Seventh Convention
Seamen, 1902, pp. 22, 23.

2 Convention of Longshoremen, 1902, p. 152.

3 Convention of Longshoremen, 1899, pp. 16, 17, 18.

4 Convention of Longshoremen, 1900, pp. 32-35. Hard and soft coal
trimmers were separately organized and marine firemen were admitted.
The admission of the latter caused the first dispute with the seamen.
Convention of Longshoremen, 1900, p. 74. The protest of the seamen came to

Utl8] Blum: JurisdicI idiHtl l)ispi(l( s ill 'iraiU V nious; 41:}

those ory'aiiizations ol" sej)arate interests may be ht'uelieial as a
start along the lines of organizations, yet there is danger ahead
I)y the hiok of uniformity of the interests and tlie division of
these l)ranehes into sejiarate l)()dies.'" And auain: "Regarding
the future extension of our organization it is essential that we
look upon it in a practical businesslike manner. It is necessary
that we reach out and gather allied interests, so that instead of
several organizations struggling for better things there ought
to be but one concentrated body under whose direction ^laritime
Workers shall operate. Let us be wide awake and unite all
branches of marine employees and turn to good account the
energy previously wasted in strife and persecution."^ At the
following convention the name of the organization was changed
to the International Longshoremen. ^Marine and Transport Work-
ers' A.ssociation. thus assuming most of the functions of the
Seamen's Union.-' The secretary puts the case forcibly: "I have
always advocated expansion of our interests in every convention
that our association has held. I maintained the necessity of
organizing every man that was engaged in our different voca-
tions. My advice was carried out and the jurisdiction extended
until to-day we stand as the most progressive association in the
world whose principles and objects declare us to be an 'Indus-
trial Association.' We are the center of maritime commerce.
As a business proposition we ought to continue the work of the
organization along the lines laid down by preceding conven-

The convention of the American Federation of Labor in
1902 and 1903 refused to sanction the change in name. In refer-
ring to the change the executive council spoke of it as "an act
of bad faith — calculated to mislead the public."^ The Long-
shoremen continued to organize seamen under their jurisdiction.
The committee on resolutions of the A. F. L. in the next con-

5 Convention of Longshoremen, 1901, p. 49.

^Convention of Longshoremen, 1902, p. 152.

'Convention of Longshoremen, 1903, p. 90. At this convention (p. 198)
President Keefe suggested a federation of maritime interests wherever
feasible and especially among the workers on the Great Lakes. "To meet
annually or as often as the occasion demands for the consideration of such
matters as concern all the workers and organizations in which we have a
mutual or common interest. ' '

^Proceedings American Federation of Labor, 1903, p. 251.

414 University of California Publications in Economics [Vol. 3

vention in considering the proposition held that technically the
Seamen's position was impregnable but that as the Longshore-
men had developed a strong organization of marine and trans-
port workers they shonld hold them within their jurisdiction.
A minority report was presented and the convention refused to
uphold either the majority or the minority and the decision was
left open till the following convention.^ The Longshoremen
decided to give up the objectionable title, provided that is was
"not to be construed that the change means giving up of any
local of members of the Longshoremen." Any jurisdictional
trouble which should arise in the future was to be settled by the
officers of the two organizations.^"

The conflict of the United Mine Workers of America and
the Coal Hoisting Engineers is a typical dispute between an
industrial and a craft union. The United Mine Workers claim
jurisdiction over all persons working at or around the mines.
This naturally includes the Coal Hoisting Engineers. The
engineers, owing to their strategic importance and to the fact
that they have always considered themselves a separate craft,
have demanded an organization distinct from the United ]\Iine
Workers. With the exception of this organization the United
Mine Workers have been in the main free from disputes of this
sort. Tlie other crafts working at the mines have recognized
that one agreement-making body can far better preserve the
interests of all concerned than twenty or more organizations
each representing a small body of men and subject to the vicissi-
tudes to which all sinall bodies are liable in dealing with large
employers. In 1900 tlie first intimation of conflict between the
two organizations is noted. It came in the form of a resolution
that a committee of the two organizations should reach some
understanding in relation to transfer cards and other matters
that might come up in conference." At this time it was realized

9 Andrew Furuseth, President of the Seamen's Union, asserted that
trade autonomy should be observed. He ignored the industrial character
of the Seamen 's Union. Walter Macarthur of the Seamen 's Union stated
that the line of demarcation was tacitly understood to be the line that
separates the vessel from the dock, in other words, the line between land
and water. See Proceedings American Federation of Labor, 1904, pp. 244-

ro Proceedings American Federation of Labor, 1908, p. 255.

13 Convention Proceedings Coal Hoisting Engineers, 1900, pp. 13, 16, 17.

l''^'M liliini: ,J iirisdiclioiial Dispufcs ill 'ira<l< I'liioiis 41.")

that the eoiiiu'ctioii Ix'twccii the two unions was very close, aiul
the Coal Hoisting Engineers presented a draft of an agreement
to the United ]\Iine AVorkers which provided that the opening
a nil termination of th(>ir contract ^-ear should be April first, to
correspond with that of the United Mine Workers, and that no
strikes should be called at any other time than April first except
to enforce a signed agreement. In the event of trouble between
the engineers and employers the case was to be taken up by the
local officers of the two organizations and in the event of failure
to agree, it was to be referred to the state or national official
before cessation of work. In the event of any troul)le between
the United Mine Workers and Operators which necessitated the
suspension of work, the Coal Hoisting Engineers would not hoist
any coal mined by non-union labor for the market or for the
company's plant unless union labor was employed. The United
Mine Workers were to agree that they were not to produce coal
which was to be hoisted by any organization but the Coal Hoist-
ing Engineers. Any member in good standing in the Coal Hoist-
ing Engineers who desired work at his vocation under the juris-
diction of the United j\Iine Workers was to be admitted upon
deposit of a transfer card in lieu of his initiation fee. Similarly
any member of the United JMine Workers might become an
engineer. These proposals were not accepted by the United ]\Iine
Workers, who held out for an unconditional surrender.'-

The contention between the two organizations had now
reached an acute stage. In the autumn of 1900 a strike was
begun by the engineers in Indiana. The miners refused to help
the engineers and the strike was lost. The miners then attempted
to force the engineers into their union. Before calling this strike
the engineers verbally notified President Van Horn of District
No. 11 of the action they had taken and asked him if anything
further was to be done or whether he had any suggestion to offer.
He answered that everything possible had been done to avert a
strike. Four days after the strike had been called President
Van Horn issued an order to the IMine Pitmen's committee
instructing them to go 'to the engineers and ask them to return
to work. If the engineers refused they were to go to work with

Journal, Coal Hoisting Engineers, vol. Ill, no. 2, .January, 1904.

416 University of California Publications in Economics [Vol. 3

any competent engineer whom the company might see fit to hire.
If he was a union man, they were to take him into their organiza-
tion on his card ; if he was not a union man, to take him anyhow.
This broke the strike and the men went back to work.^^ In the
following year the president of the Coal Hoisting Engineers
reported that no agreement had been reached between the two
organizations but that the United Mine Workers of the Illinois
region had given up their claim to the engineers. In other states,
however, the engineers were forced into the miners' union. ^*

A decision on this question was given at the convention of
the American Federation of Labor in 1901. The miners and
coal hoisting engineers were not mentioned specifically but by

"As the magnificent growth of the American Federation of Labor is
conceded by all students of economic thought to be the result of organiza-
tion on trade lines ... we declare that as a general proposition, the interest
of the workers will be best conserved by adhering as closely to that doctrine
as the recent great changes in the method of production and employment
make practicable. However, owing to the isolation of some few industries
from thickly populated centers, where the overwhelming number follow one
branch thereof, and owing to the fact that in some industries comparatively
few workmen are engaged over whom separate organizations claim jurisdic-
tion, we believe that the jurisdiction in such industries by the paramount
organization would yield the best results to the workers therein; at least
till the development of organization of each branch has reached a stage
wherein these may be placed without material injury to all parties in interest
in affiliation with their national trade unions, "i-j

This decision, adverse as it was to the Coal Hoisting Engineers,
was unheeded by them. The Coal Hoisting Engineers refused to
understand the decision as applying to themselves.^"

At the convention of the American Federation of Labor in
1903, the Coal Hoisting Engineers protested against the United
Mine Workers. The executive council decided that the Coal
Hoisting Engineers should become part of the United Mine

13 Convention Froceedings Coal Hoisting Engineers, 1901, p. 10.

1* Ibid., 1902, p. 7.

15 Convention Proceedings American Federation of Labor, 1901, p. 240.
Report of Special Committee on Autonomy. This Committee was composed
of Samuel Gompers, James Duncan, John Mitchell, President of the United

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