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10 Monthly Bull. Int'l Jurid. Ass'n 1 (1941-1942)

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                          MONTHLY BULLETIN
Vol. 10, No.  1                                      JULY, 1941              JW                    Price $2 a year

    Unemployment Compensation in

               Industrial Disputes

   While  the fifty-one unemployment  insurance  laws of
 the states and territories embody somewhat different for-
 mulae, all of them contain some provision denying or de-
 laying payment or benefits where the unemployment  was
 caused by a labor dispute. The various administrative de-
 terminations of these provisions have already been noted
 in this Bulletin' and elsewhere.2 Final adjudications on
 appeal to the courts again call attention to the unsatis-
 factory criteria of the present statutes.3
   Among  the earliest disputed claims for benefit were those
 arising from the bituminous coal stoppage of 1939.4 Here,
 briefly stated, there was a cessation of work upon  the
 termination of a two year contract with the United Mine
 Workers and  pending the negotiation of a new  contract.
 Neither strike nor lockout was declared. The applications
 of the unemployed miners for benefits posed the question:
 was the stoppage due to a labor dispute?
   The administrative tribunals which heard the claims were
 hopelessly divided.5 The division in the courts is less sharp
 but more heavily weighted  against labor. That the stop-
 page as such, and without regard to the merits of the con-
 troversy constituted a labor dispute, is the judicial holding
 in Alabama,6 Kentucky7 and Tennessee.8 A contrary result
 has been reached in Ohio.!
                  (Continued on Page 8)

  1.  Labor Disputes and Unemployment  Insurance, 8 I.J.A.
Bull. 57 (Dec. 1939).
  2.  Fierst and Spector, Unemployment Compensation in Labor
Disputes, 49 Yale L. J. 461 (1940) ; Compensation for Unemploy-
ment  During Industrial Disputes, 51 Monthly Labor Rev. 1375
  3.  See generally, Schindler, Collective Bargaining and Unem-
ployment Insurance Legislation, 38 Col. L. Rev. 858 (1938).
Fierst and Spector, supra note 2.
  4.  They are summarized by Fierst and Spector, supra note
2, pp. 466-469.
  5.  Benefits were granted in 6 states, denied in 11. Compensa-
tion for Unemployment During Industrial Disputes, supra note 2,
pp. 1379-1380. Perhaps the real reason for denying benefits was
the desire to conserve the reserves. A West Virginia tribunal (Bd.
of Review No. 3380, Compensation for Unemployment Due to
Industrial Disputes, supra note 2, p. 1376) pointed out that pay-
ment of benefits to the bituminous miners would have exhausted
the reserves in 8 weeks. That achievement of the purpose of un-
employment insurance laws-protection against the consequences
of unemployment-should be thought to be fraught with danger
is an interesting irony.
  6.  Department of Industrial Relations v. Pesnell, 29 Ala. App.
528, 199 So. 720 (1940), aff'd 199 So. 726 (1941), certiorari
denied, 85 L. ed. (Adv.) 1002.
  7. Barnes et al. v. Hall, 285 Ky. 160, 146 S. W. (2d) 929
  8. Block Coal & Coke Co. v. United Mine Workers, 148 S. W.
(2d) 364 (1941) dissent reported at 149 S.W. (2d) 469.
  9.  United States Coal Co. v. Unemployment Compensation
Board, 66 Ohio App. 329, 32 N. E. (2d) 763 (1940).

           Recent Items of Interest
 Regulation of Employment Agency  Fees Upheld
   Undoubtedly  little surprise was occasioned by the recent
 decision of the United  States Supreme  Court  in Olsen
 v. Nebraska'  upholding the  constitutionality of a state
 law limiting the charges made  by a private employment
 agency to ten per cent of the first month's salary or wages
 of the person for whom   employment  was  obtained. The
 significance of the Olsen case, however, goes beyond the
 overruling of Rib nik v. McBride,2 decided in 1928, and
 even then discredited by the brilliant dissenting opinion of
 Mr. justice (now Chief Justice) Stone,3 with whom Justices
 Holmes  and Brandeis concurred. The opinion in the Olsen
 case, writen by Mr. Justice Douglas, makes clear that the
 present court regards price-fixing as purely a matter of
 legislative choice and not as a special power which may
 be exercised only upon  a showing  that competition has
 failed to eliminate an economically undesirable situation.
 So broad a statement of the constitutional powers of gov-
 ernment  takes on  special significance at a time when
 federal price control is becoming imperative as a means
 of checking inflationary prices which would seriously af-
 fect the defense program.

   1. 61 S. Ct. 864 (April 28, 1941).
   2. 277 U.S. 350 (1928).
   3. Mr. Justice Stone is the only member of the Court who
sat in both cases.

New  York  Agrees to Bargain Collectively
With  Subway  Workers
   In 1940 the New  York City Board of Transportation in
taking over the operations of the B.M.T. and I.R.T. sub-
way  lines recently purchased by the City, assumed, so far
as not inconsistent with constitutional and statutory pro-
visions, all the terms and conditions of the labor agree-
ments  between  the private operators and the  Transport
Workers  Union  of America, the Brotherhood  of Locomo-
tive Engineers and the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen
of America.' Upon   the refusal of the Board to enter into
negotiations for the renewal of its contract, the T.W.U.
voted to strike on June 30, 1941, when all three agreements
would  expire. Two days before the strike, Mayor LaGuar-
dia, who had  steadfastly endorsed the refusal of the Board
to bargain collectively, capitulated by entering into a mcm-
orandum   continuing the  agreements, except for certain
provisions, pending a court test of their legality.2 By the

  1.  The contracts of the Brotherhoods cover only the craft
groups indicated by their names and only on part of the formerly
privately-operated lines. No contracts exist with respect to the In-
dependent Division built as well as operated by the Board of
  2.  On April 9 the City brought suit for a declaratory judg-
ient in which it asked that the Board be held to have no power
to enter into labor agreements. Whatever may be said of the
closed shop clauses of the old contracts (see N. Y. U. Law Q.
Rev., Jan. 1941) with respect to employees covered by the civil
service law, there is manifestly no merit in the contention that


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