would under these circumstances be unlawful. It would be contrary to principles of law and order and will not be tolerated. As long as the Courts are functioning, justiciable controversies must be determined by the Courts and the decrees of the Courts must be obeyed. The Courts are not impotent. They will take steps to enforce and effectuate their decrees. They have done so in the past in other matters; they will do so in the future.
Obviously, it is hardly necessary to state that anyone against whom an injunction runs, and the Court is going to grant one, who directly or indirectly instigates or encourages a strike will be guilty of contempt of court. Any employee who without lawful excuse fails to appear for work runs the risk of having such failure properly treated by his employer, either as a tender of resignation or as a ground for discharge. In that event, the employee might lose all the rights that he has accumulated by virtue of his employment and those that he has under this award.
Two comments may be added. The award of the Arbitration Board is in some aspects highly favorable to the employees. The Board holds that firemen are no longer necessary on 90 percent of freight engines because the services rendered by the firemen can be supplied by brakemen. The award nevertheless guarantees permanent employment status for life, that is, until he retires, resigns, or dies, to every fireman who has been in active service for more than two years. As I remarked during the argument, there are not many people in this country who have similar guarantees of their employment status. Those firemen who have been in the service for less than two years are awarded liberal severance pay. In other words, for years to come thousands of firemen will receive compensation from the railroads, and indirectly, therefore, from the customers of the railroads, and this means the public, for nominal and unnecessary services.
So I repeat that many aspects of this award are highly favorable to the employees. From the standpoint of the economy of this country they are probably desirable because it would be disastrous to have thousands of unemployed suddenly cast upon the community. Suppose the opposite occurred. Suppose the railroads were to say that they refused to carry these thousands of persons on their payroll for years to come and declined to comply with the award. The Court would not tolerate such a defiance and would compel them to comply with the award.
It has been said very often that this is the first time in the history of labor relations in this country that compulsory arbitration has been directed by the Congress. This is erroneous. True, this is the first time that such a course has been pursued on a nationwide scale, but compulsory arbitration has been in effect for years in labor relations of railroads in connection with minor disputes as they are called, that are being handled by the adjustment boards.
The Court will grant an injunction against calling any strikes, as prayed for by the moving party. The injunction will contain a provision that applications may be made at the foot of the decree in order that if any party on either side desires to present to the Court any question as to the application of the award or the manner in which it is being carried out, such an application may be entertained.
A transcript of this oral decision will constitute the findings of fact and conclusions of law.
Counsel may present a proposed injunction order on notice to the other side.