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shall be punished by a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars, or imprisonment in the state prison or in jail not exceeding one year.'
On the subject of conspiracy it is, by chap. 126, § 18, enacted that: If two or more persons conspire and agree together, with the fraudulent or malicions intent wrongfully and wickedly to injure the person, character, business, or property of another; or to do any illegal act injurious to the public trade ... they are guilty of a conspiracy, and every such offender, and every person convicted of conspiracy at common law, shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than three years, or by fine not exceeding one thousand dollars.
Intimidation of Employés.— Whoever, by threats, intimidation, or force, alone or in combination with others, prevents any person from entering into or continuing in the employment of any person, firm or corporation, shall be punished by imprisonment not more than two years, or by fine not exceeding five hundred dollars. '
In Maryland, under the title of "Conspiracy,” it is enacted that: An agreement or combination by two or more persons to do or procure to be done any act in contemplation or furtherance of a trade dispute between employers and workmen, shall not be indictable as a conspiracy, if such act committed by one person would not be punishable as an offense; nothing in this section shall affect the law relating to riot, unlawful assembly, breach of the peace, or any offense against any person or against property." Provision is also made for a board of arbitration.'
In Massachusetts a like board of arbitration is established,' and the incorporation of labor unions is also authorized. In 1890-91 the Legislature passed a law known as the Weavers' Fine Bill. The Act provides a penalty for a manufacturer who shall impose a fine or other punishment upon a workman for an imperfection
Rev. Stat. 1883, chap. 123, SS 6–10.
Acts 1889, chap. 303. See on the subject of conspiracy, State v. Clary, 64 Me. 370; State v. Mayberry, 48 Me. 235; State v. Roberts, 34 Me. 321; State v. Ripley, 31 Me. 388; State v. Bartlett, 30 Me. 135; State v. Murry, 15 Me. 102.
3 Code Pub. Gen. Laws 1888, art. 27, S 31.
in weaving, and one Josiah Perry, a Worcester County manufacturerer, has been convicted under the Act, and on appeal an attack is made before the Supreme Court of the State on the constitutionality of the legislation. It is said in argument that there is no authority which the people of Massachusetts have conferred upon the Legislature to prescribe by law what prices shall be paid for labor where parties competent to contract make contracts for its performance and for the price to be paid for it. The Legislature cannot fix by law the amount which an employé shall be entitled to receive. Neither is there any power given to the Legislature to require by law that poor services shall receive the same compensation as that which is better and therefore worth more.
These positions, as abstract propositions, are undoubtedly true. But the precise question to be determined is whether the Legislature has the constitutional right to decide that citizens of the State shall not make a contract, which involves the possibility of a reduction in wages for imperfection in the product, whether caused by faulty machinery or otherwise. Whether such a law is wise or not is not in the issue. The court is called upon to decide whether the Legislature cannot enact such a law. The appeal is still pending in the court.
In Michigan the intimidation of employés is forbidden, in section 9274, and under the heading “Obstructing or Conspiring to Obstruct Business of Corporations,” it is provided, § 9274, that: If any person or persons shall willfully or maliciously, by any act or by means of intimidation, impede or obstruct, except by due process of law, the regular operation or conduct of the business of any railroad company or other corporation, firm or individual in this State, or of the regular running of any locomotive engine, freight or passenger train of any such company, or the labor or business of any such corporation, firm or individual, he or they shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by imprisonment in the county jail not more than three months or in the state prison not exceeding one year.
$ 9275. If two or more persons shall willfully or maliciously combine or conspire together to obstruct or impede, by any act or by means of intimidation, the regular operation and conduct of the business of any railroad company or any other corporation, firm or individual in this State, or to impede, hinder, or obstruct, except by due process of law, the regular running of any locomotive engine, freight or passenger trains on any railroad, or the labor and business of any such corporation, firm or individual, such person shall, on conviction thereof, be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for a period not more than three months, or in the state prison for a period not exceeding two years.
This statute does not require that malice must be shown to have existed against the owner of the business disturbed or against his property, in the sense that the common law requires it in cases of malicious mischief.' If the indictment only charges a conspiracy to do certain acts, describing them, but does not charge the doing of any of the acts, it only charges the offense of conspiracy under this section.
$ 9276. It is declared that this Act shall not be construed to apply to cases of persons voluntarily quitting the employment of any railroad company or such other corporation, firm, or individual, whether by concert of action or otherwise.'
The organization of trade unions is authorized.'
In Missouri a party engaging in a criminal conspiracy is guilty of a misdemeanor.' Arbitration boards are authorized by chapter 95, art. 2, SS 6354-6358.
In Minnesota, under the title “Conspiracy," it is provided, $ 138, that if two or more persons conspire either ... (5.) To prevent another from exercising a lawful trade or calling, or doing any other lawful act, by force, threats, intimidation, or by interfering, or threatening to interfere with tools, implements, or property belonging to or used by another, or with the use or employment thereof; or (6.) To commit any act injurious to the public health, to the public morals, or to trade or commerce, or for the perversion or obstruction of justice, or of the due administration of the laws, each of them is guilty of a misdemeanor.
1 People v. Petheram, 7 West. Rep. 592, 64 Mich. 252. 'Howell Anno. Stat. 1882, chap. 321, SS 9274-9276. 3Howell Anno. Stat. 1882, chap. 17, S 3945; Of Knights of Labor,
Acts 1883, No. 159, $$ 1-6; Of Labor Associations, Acts 1885, No. 145,
SS 1-9, and of Boards of Arbitration, Acts of 1886, No. 238, SS 1-9. * State v. Daubert, 42 Mo. 242; State v. Ross, 29 Mo. 32; Rev. Stat. 1889,
chap. 47, art. 7, § 3783.
$ 139. No conspiracy is punishable criminally unless it is one of those enumerated in the last section, and the orderly and peaceably assembling or co-operation of persons employed in any calling, trade, or handicraft, for the purpose of obtaining an advance in the rate of wages or compensation, or of maintaining such rate, is not conspiracy.
$ 140. No agreement except to commit a felony upon the person of another, or to commit arson or burglary, amounts to a conspiracy, unless some act besides such agreement be done to effect the object thereof by one or more of the parties to such agreement. The statute also declares coercion to be a crime.'
In Montana unlawful interference between employer and employé is defined and forbidden.' A board of arbitration is also provided for. •
In New Hampshire interference with the laborer or employé is forbidden.'
In New Jersey, title“ Conspiracy,” it is enacted that if two or more persons shall combine, unite, confederate, conspire or bind themselves by oath, covenant, agreement or other alliance to commit any crime ... or to cheat and defraud any person of any property by any means which are in themselves criminal, or to cheat and defraud any person of any property by any means which, if executed, would amount to a cheat ... or to commit any act for the perversion or obstruction of justice, or the due administration of the laws, they shall, on conviction, be deemed guilty of a conspiracy, and shall he punished by imprisonment at hard labor not exceeding two years, or by a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars, or both; but no agreement to commit any crime other than murder, manslaughter, sodomy, rape, arson, burglary or robbery, shall be deemed a conspiracy, unless some act in execution of such agreement be done to effect the object thereof by one or more of the parties to such agreement, provided that nothing in the section shall be construed to apply to any person or persons lawfully and by peaceful means persuading, advising or encouraging other persons to enter into any combination for or against leaving or entering into the employment of other persons.
'Penal Code, 1886, p. 52. 'Section 490, p. 189. See same title in New York statute. Comp. Stat. 1887, Fourth Division Criminal Laws, chap. 13, SS 252
254. "Comp. Stat. 1887, Division 5, General Laws, chap. 7, SS 82-87 $Acts 1887, chap. 54, § 1.
It shall not be unlawful for any two or more persons to unite, combine or bind themselves by oath covenant, agreement, alliance, or otherwise to persuade, advise or encourage, oy peaceable means, any person or persons to enter into any combination for or against leaving or entering into the employment of any person, persons or corporation.'
It is not unlawful, since New Jersey Act 1883 (Sup. Rev. p. 774), for the members of a voluntary association to combine for the purpose of securing the control of the work connected with their trade, and to endeavor to effect such purpose by peaceable means."
The Revised Statutes of 1877, p. 946, SS 173–176, make it a criminal offense for an employé to abandon a railroad train before it reaches its destination. Boards of Arbitration are provided for in the Supplement of 1886, p. 21, SS 1–13.
Under the legislation in force at the date of the decisions, the combination or agreement must be followed by some act done to effect the object by one or more of the parties to the agreement."
The legislation in New York is to the effect, under the title of “Conspiracy,” section 168, that if two or more persons conspire either ... (5) To prevent another from exercising a lawful trade, or calling, or doing any other lawful act, by force, threats, intimidation, or by interfering or threatening to interfere with tools, implements, or property belonging to or used by another, or with the use or employment thereof; or (6) To commit any act injurious to the public health, to public morals, or to trade or commerce, or for the perversion or obstruction of justice, or of the due administration of the laws, each of them is guilty of a misdemeanor. "Rev. Stat. 1877, p. 261, 8 191, as amended by $ 9, p. 1296; Rev. Stat. 1877,
and by $ 43, p. 199, sup'lt. 1886. ? Sup. 1883, p. 774, S 30. 8 Mayer v. Journeymen Stone-Cutters A880. 47 N. J. Eq. 519. * State v. Young, 37 N. J. L. 184; State v. Donaldson, 32 N. J. L. 151; John
son v. State, 26 N. J. L. 313; State v. Norton, 23 N. J. L. 33; Den v. Johnson, 18 N. J. L. 90; State v. Rickey, 9 N. J. L. 364.