LIGHT FINES FOR LOCKING FACTORY DOORS
A fine of fifty dollars appears to have no restraining force upon some of the New York factory owners who persist in violating the labor and factory laws by locking their doors during working hours. If it had there would not be arrests almost daily for that offense, and in one or two cases the parties have been taken before the court the second time on the same charge. Whether the law is faulty or what is the trouble is not for us to say, but judges on the bench have said that the section of the law referring to locked doors should be amended to make the offense a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars, imprisonment not to exceed one year, or both. Of this we readily see the advisability, for it has been demonstrated that more drastic measures will have to be taken if the locking of factory doors during working hours is to be stopped. The intention is to protect factory workers from fire, the law having been amended following the Triangle factory fire. A manufacturer who had his doors locked during working hours may be fined from twenty to fifty dollars on the first offense. IF it is his second offense the minimum fine is fifty dollars, the maximum two hundred and fifty dollars, and there may be imprisonment not exceeding thirty days. For the third offense the punishment maybe a fine of two hundred and fifty dollars, imprisonment for sixty days, or both. Upon arraignment one day last week several manufacturers were held for the Special Sessions Court on five hundred dollars bail in each case. The ease with which other offenders have escaped will probably attract some attention to these cases and the manner in which they are ultimately disposed of. Past experience, however, will no doubt result in the enactment of more drastic laws— laws that will so emphasize the seriousness of their violation that manufacturers will prefer to he law-abiding.