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The decision of the United States Court of Appeal against the labour leaders in a recent famous injunction case is rather a victory than a defeat for the wage earners and their champions. As our cables explain, the Court has upheld the injunction of the lower courts forbidding the labour leaders to " black list" any firm obnoxious to them. But on the other hand, the Court of Appeal defines the position clearly by laying down the principle that the injunction applies only to "publications made in furtherance of an illegal boycott"; whereas the general practice in the lower courts has been to restrain the unions from making even the most casual reference of the least offensive type to their opponents, even in private and unofficial speech. The Buck Stove Range case to which our cable message refers, secured a large amount of public attention because Mr. Samuel Gompers, President of the American Federation of Labour, and Mr. John Mitchell, the head of the Coal Miners' Union, and the ablest labour organiser in the country, were charged with disobeying an injunction of the Court in this connection. Gompsrs and Mitchell were adjudged guilty, aud were sentenced to fine or imprisonment; and the severity of the treatment they received has made the case notorious. Gompcre and Mitchell have declared that under the interpretation of the law applied to them it is impossible for a man even to mention the name of

a boycotted or blacklisted firm in his own house in ordinary conversation with his family without risking th-2 punishment that they have received. And there is no doubt that the courts, which are undoubtedly influenced by the great

financial Viiiefs "of the States have srained the law to its utmost limits by enforcing injunctions of this kind against the unions. President Koosevelt, in one of his latest messages to Congress, protested against this injustice, and the limitation of the scope of these injunctions, so as to check only unfair encroachments on the. rights of the employers, is certainly a step in the direction of emancipating Labour in the United States from one of the most oppressive forms of servitude to which it has hitherto been forced to submit.

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Bibliographic details

LABOUR'S RIGHTS AND DUTIES, Auckland Star, Volume XL, Issue 63, 15 March 1909

Word Count

LABOUR'S RIGHTS AND DUTIES Auckland Star, Volume XL, Issue 63, 15 March 1909

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