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The following study is not a critical estimate of the efficacy of the different laws which have been devised for dealing with wage disputes and strikes in the transportation industry and other branches of the public-utility service. The experience of the different countries under the various laws enacted has not been considered, or any other feature of the general legislation relative to strikes and lockouts which might be looked upon as a subject of controversy. The report consists of an impartial comparative analysis and digest of legislation relative to strikes and methods of adjusting disputes as to wages and working conditions in the publicutility service in the principal commercial and industrial countries, as well as in those countries where advanced or unusual ideas have been enacted into legislative form. To this has been added the full text of existing and proposed legislation. Official statistics as to the operation of the different laws, whenever available, have also been submitted. Furthermore, in the case of each country an explanatory statement, together with a brief history of legislative enactments for the prevention of strikes and the promotion of industrial peace, has been prepared.

The laws selected for a comparative analysis as being of the largest direct interest in connection with the consideration of a law providing for a system of conciliation and arbitration in the United States were those of Canada, New Zealand, and the Commonwealth of Australia. The laws of the United States and Great Britain were also taken as showing the differences existing between them and the more elaborate and far-reaching laws of the States named.

Laws of the Australian States resembling the laws of the Commonwealth and New Zealand in many respects are not treated in detail, partly because of their general similarity to those analyzed and partly because of the subordinate position which they occupy relative to the law of the Commonwealth. The antistrike legisla


tion and administrative orders to prevent strikes which are in operation in certain European countries have been presented in order to show the wide difference between this form of legislation and that of other countries. The history and operation of conciliation and arbitration legislation in the United States, together with measures now proposed by way of addition and amendment to the existing law, are presented for purposes of comparative study.

The official publications of the different countries under consideration have constituted the principal sources of information used. A number of special reports of the labor department of the British Board of Trade have been found to be of great value, especially a report entitled “Memoranda on Strikes and Lockouts," issued in 1912, which reviews in an exhaustive way antistrike legislation in the British Empire and in other countries. This report has been mainly relied upon as a source of information in the analysis of European and Australasian legislation, its subject matter being supplemented by further research and brought down to date. Through the cooperation of Hon. T. W. Crothers, Canadian minister of labor, and Hon. F. A. Acland, registrar of boards of conciliation and arbitration, the latest data as to the operation of the Canadian industrial disputes investigation act were secured.

In the preparation of this work the United States Board of Mediation and Conciliation was fortunate in securing the services of Mr. W. Jett Lauck, Statistician, Washington, D. C., who was assisted by Mr. Lindley D. Clark, of the Bureau of Labor Statistics.


A survey of the legislative and other measures which have been adopted by the leading commercial and industrial nations for the prevention of strikes and the promotion of the peaceable adjustment of disputes between employers and employees in the transportation industry and other public utilities reveals a remarkable lack of uniformity. Each country or section seems to have worked out its own system from its own experience. In only one or two cases was it found that one nation had adopted the plan of another.

In the study of this class of legislation, however, one fact stands out prominently. Two factors have been responsible for antistrike legislation and legislation for the orderly settlement of industrial disputes. One group of countries in framing such legislation has primarily had in mind the protection of the public against the injurious effects of industrial warfare in the railway and other publicutility service. Such reasons are evidently responsible for the legislative enactments in Canada, France, Italy, Russia, Roumania, Spain, and Portugal, and the attitude of the railway administration of Germany. On the other hand, the preservation of industrial peace and the advancement in economic welfare of certain classes have been primarily considered in framing the legislation of Australasian countries, and the prevention of industrial conflicts in the railway service. has been incidental to these broader purposes.

1 Strikes and lockouts. Memoranda prepared from information in the possession of the labor department of the board of trade relating to the text and operation of certain laws in the British Dominions and foreign countries affecting strikes and lockouts with especial reference to public-utility services. London, 1912.

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