The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Blacklisting

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The Encyclopedia Americana
Blacklisting
Edition of 1920. See also Blacklist on Wikipedia, and the disclaimer.

BLACKLISTING. A method employed in various countries to place upon record for the guidance of others the names of persons or firms whom it might not be desirable to employ or to have business relations with. Lists of those against whom unsatisfied judgments are standing, or whose credit is poor, or who have given chattel mortgages on stock in trade and lists of a similar nature have been published by mercantile agencies and are not only regarded as of great benefit to the business world but also fair and lawful. The publisher or compiler of such list must be careful that in printing a person's name, he do not subject himself to a libel suit. He must be able to prove that his statements about the blacklisted person are true, or that they were correctly transcribed from some public record, or that they constituted a fair and accurate report of some judicial proceeding, or that the information contained in the statements was secured in a privileged manner, such as a report of financial standing of a person or firm asking credit of another. But the blacklist is more widely known for its use in labor controversies. For many years railroads kept lists of employees dismissed for any reason so that they could not be re-employed. Manufacturers and dealers who have formed an association or combination to control a certain line of industry have blacklisted others who refused to enter the association. The blacklist of the early period of labor controversies was a printed list of the names of workmen, circulated among employers, who had previously agreed not to employ those so listed. Labor unions have kept lists of non-union workmen with the object of preventing the laborers or of employers of non-union employment of the workmen or of boycotting the employer. Such lists are now termed a misdemeanor in the statutes of some States, and offenders are punishable by a fine or imprisonment. The central offices of employers' associations keep a list from which information regarding workmen is exchanged, thus coming within the law. See Blacklist; Boycott; Strikes and Lockouts; Trade Unionism; Labor Legislation; Libel; Conspiracy.