This is an action in lieu of prerogative writs in the nature of a mandamus brought by the plaintiffs, Casey and Union Printers League of New Jersey. Plaintiffs seek an order requiring the defendant, the Commissioner of Labor and Industry, to enforce the appropriate provisions of the Factory Safety Law, R.S. 34:6-1 et seq. with regard to all newspaper publishing plants in the State.
Application on behalf of the Publishers Bureau of New Jersey and the New Jersey Press Association for leave to appear as amicus curiae in the action was denied. See Casey v. Male , 63 N.J. Super. 255 (Law Div. 1960).
Thereafter, the Evening News Publishing Company, a New Jersey corporation, and the Morning Ledger Company, also a New Jersey corporation, were given leave to, and have intervened.
The entire matter has been submitted on stipulated facts. Several matters of admissibility of evidence were raised and
The issues to be determined as settled in the pretrial order are as follows:
(1) Are the provisions of R.S. 34:6-1 et seq. applicable with regard to newspaper publishers who print and sell only newspapers? If so, what section or sections are applicable?
(2) If the first question is answered in the negative, must the Commissioner consider newspaper publishers who, in addition to printing and selling newspapers, produce and sell matrices and photoengravings in the same plant in which they print newspapers, as engaged in manufacturing, so as to bring them within the scope of R.S. 34:6-1 et seq. , or any section thereof?
(3) If the production and sale of matrices or photoengraving in the same plant in which newspapers are printed bring the plant within the coverage of R.S. 34:6-1 et seq. , or any section thereof, is the Commissioner obligated to enforce the Factory Safety Law with regard to such newspaper publishers where such additional activity constitutes a very minute part of their total activity, or is the Commissioner obligated to enforce the said chapter only with regard to newspaper publishers whose activity in producing and selling matrices and photoengraving constitutes a certain percentage of their total activity?
(4) If the latter is the answer, to what degree must the newspaper publishers engage in the production and sale of matrices and photoengravings in order to come within the coverage of the Factory Safety Law?
A distinguished former Attorney General, John W. Wescott, by memorandum opinion dated October 5, 1915, involving a construction of the underlying statute, informed the then Commissioner of Labor that "the answer to your question involves considerable difficulty"; and in the same opinion, he states "I have examined the Act (L. 1904, c. 64, p. 152) in an effort to learn the intention of the Legislature and have found so many evidences of, apparently,
conflicting intentions that I am unable to construe this Act with confidence in the accuracy of my construction."
Since that opinion, many supplements and amendments have been enacted, repealers have passed, social legislation has been brought together in one place under Title 34 in the Revision of 1937. The legislative intention can only be gleaned from a study of the separate underlying legislation.
It is stipulated in the pretrial order of this case, in part, that
"The position of the Department of Labor and Industry as early as 1927 was that newspaper publishers who print and sell newspapers only were subject to the regulatory provisions of R.S. 34:6-1 et seq. , or any applicable sections thereof. The Department instructed its inspectors that such concerns were to be treated as factories and violations reported. This position continued until Formal Opinion No. 8 of the Attorney General , issued May 20, 1952, held that newspaper plants were not subject to the cited regulatory requirements. The reports of inspections up to May 20, 1952 included plants of the larger publishers, which printed only newspapers, such as the Atlantic City Press, the Camden Courier and those included in a list (designated as Exhibit 1) attached to this [the] stipulation."
The Evening News Publishing Company and Morning Ledger Company are included in the list.
"Subsequent to May 20, 1952, after the issuance of and in accordance with the Attorney General's Opinion, the plants of those publishers in which only newspapers were printed and sold were not inspected by the Bureau of Engineering and Safety of the Department of Labor and Industry. * * *"
The plaintiff urges that the legislative intent was to regulate and effect all places of employment in which any hazard might occur, and that the sections of R.S. 34:6-1 et seq. are not limited to factories or places of manufacture, but include all industrial places of business. They urge a consideration of the language in the following sections of the Revised Statutes , namely R.S. 34:6-1, 24, 47, 48, 58, 60, 62, 66, 67, 99, and 141.
R.S. 34:6-1 uses the phrase, "Every factory, workshop, mill or place where the manufacture of goods of any kind is carried on." Sections 24, 47 and 60 use the same general language.
R.S. 34:6-48 uses the term "Every employer."
R.S. 34:6-58 uses the phrase, "All employers conducting a manufacturing business and using emery wheels."
R.S. 34:6-62 uses the language, "Any factory, workshop, mill or place where the manufacture of goods is carried on where machinery is used."
R.S. 34:6-66 uses the phrase, "Every factory, workshop or mill shall contain * * *."
R.S. 34:6-67 uses the phrase, "Factories and workshops in which women and children are employed."
R.S. 34:6-99 uses the phrase, "Any place or establishment where metal castings or cores are made."
"Every person engaging in any productive industry within the supervision of the department, as a factory, workshop, mill, newspaper plant, printery, or commercial laundry shall register the same with the commissioner before the commencement of business, giving the legal name, home address, the nature of business, the maximum number of persons to be employed, and such other data as the commissioner may require." (Emphasis added)
"The commissioner shall enforce the provisions of this title and exercise supervision and control over the deputy commissioners, bureau chiefs and all inspectors, and shall, as often as is practicable, cause inspections to be made of all establishments and places regulated or affected by this title." (Emphasis added)
The plaintiffs urge that a consideration of all of chapter 6 (R.S. 34:6-1 et seq.) together with R.S. 34:1-6 should lead to the conclusion that it was the legislative intent that all places of employment in which any hazard might occur (not only factories) were to be regulated. They contend that many sections of chapter 6 are general and therefore apply to all employers; that the definition of foundry in
R.S. 34:6-99 as "any place or establishment where metal castings or cores are made," taken in conjunction with the admission that "type metal * * * is used by all newspaper plants and is melted and cast into molds and type"; and the mandate of R.S. 34:6-141 requiring newspaper plants and printeries to register ...