or about to break out in Philadelphia, and there was general uncertainty.
At 8 o'clock, there were apparently two gangs of stevedores, sufficient in number to unload the cargo, on the pier head. They did not go aboard the ship at any time, and must have left rather early, because the Stevedoring Company made no charge for their time. There was sufficient steam up to operate the winches, but when the stevedores failed to appear on deck, the chief engineer ordered the deck engineer to cut it off from the deck until they were ready to use it. Steam was kept up in the boilers and could have been brought to the deck by merely turning on a valve.
The crew remained on the ship during Saturday morning. As to whether or not they refused to work, the testimony is conflicting and unsatisfactory. In all probability, the delegates appointed by the crew and the crew themselves were uncertain both in their own minds and in what they said as to whether they were going to furnish power for unloading the cargo, in view of the strike on the West Coast and a few of the Ship Cleaners' Union pickets on the dock in front of the "San Angelo". The Master also was probably in doubt as to what course he ought to take. If he did give a definite order, it may have been transmitted to the crew in the form of an inquiry as to what they intended to do when the stevedores returned or something of a similar nature. At any rate, he took no steps at that time to pay them off, and everyone seemed disposed to postpone the "showdown" until Monday. I do not think it essential to make more definite findings as to this period, because it seems to me that what occurred on Monday settles the matter.
On Monday, November 2, there was still sufficient steam in the boilers to operate the winches, and at 8 o'clock there were again two gangs of stevedores at the pier head. There was also a much heavier picket line, this time including some men belonging to unions allied to those of the crew and engine room men. On Monday morning, two delegates representing the seamen and the engine room crew definitely informed the master and the Chief Engineer that they could not furnish steam so long as there was a picket line in front of the ship. This action was taken by them, not as the result of any physical interference with unloading caused by the picket line or of any threats of violence, for there is no evidence of anything of that sort, but because of their own union sympathies and affiliations. They agreed to keep sufficient steam up for fire protection and refrigeration, but unequivocally refused to furnish steam for the unloading of the cargo.
Faced with this point-blank refusal to unload the cargo, the Master decided to pay the men off. He told them that the Commissioner would come aboard Monday afternoon and called the men into the salon for the purpose of paying them off, and at that time, a dispute arose about the rider and nothing was done. But the Master directed the men to go to the Shipping Commissioner's office, Tuesday, at 9 o'clock. This they did, and after some dispute and after again stating the reason given the Master for their refusal to assist in discharging the cargo, received their pay. They did not thereafter return to the ship except to get their belongings. No one could tell how long the labor disturbances at Philadelphia were going to last, and, it being apparent that the cargo could not be discharged as long as they did, the ship was laid up in Philadelphia.
In view of the testimony I cannot accept the libellants' contention that the crew were standing by, ready and willing to help unload, and that the Master simply got tired of waiting for the stevedores to come on deck and paid off the crew.
I find as a fact that the vessel laid up in Philadelphia for a reason for which the crew was responsible.
The statements of fact and law in this opinion may be considered as special findings of fact and conclusions of law.
The libels may be dismissed.
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