Thursday, October 20, 2016

Labor Has Right To Organize and Employers Have Right to Fire Them for Organizing, 1919

From the editorial page of the Oct. 16, 1919, issue of the Rockingham Post-Dispatch

Judge Thomas J. Shaw is considered the ablest jurist on the bench. Read what he had to say in his charge to the Mecklenburg county grand jury at Charlotte Monday:

“As I stated to you before, gentlemen, there is no question of the right of labor to organize for its own good. It has that right, both legally and morally. It has the right to organize for the purpose of bargaining collectively, but it has no right to contravene the law and to adopt violence as a means of redressing real or fancied grievances.

“Alongside the right of labor to organize and bargain collectively is the right of the employer to hire or discharge anyone he pleases without consulting any organization or group of men. He has both the moral and legal right to do that and the person so employed or discharged has no right to question why he was discharged.

“This freedom of action and of choice for both employe and employer is fundamental and is guaranteed by the constitution. Because an act is done by a body of men such as an organized group of laborers or by an organized group of employers does not affect either its legality or its morality. The law specifies the fundamental of each and guarantees that those rights shall not be abridged and it is your province to see whether those rights have been abridged here in your community."

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