Public Workers: Government Employee Unions, the Law, and the State, 1900-1962

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Cornell University Press, 2004 - History - 260 pages
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From the dawn of the twentieth century to the early 1960s, public-sector unions generally had no legal right to strike, bargain, or arbitrate, and government workers could be fired simply for joining a union. Public Workers is the first book to analyze why public-sector labor law evolved as it did, separate from and much more restrictive than private-sector labor law, and what effect this law had on public-sector unions, organized labor as a whole, and by extension all of American politics. Joseph E. Slater shows how public-sector unions survived, represented their members, and set the stage for the most remarkable growth of worker organization in American history. Slater examines the battles of public-sector unions in the workplace, courts, and political arena, from the infamous Boston police strike of 1919, to teachers in Seattle fighting a yellow-dog rule, to the BSEIU in the 1930s representing public-sector janitors, to the fate of the powerful Transit Workers Union after New York City purchased the subways, to the long struggle by AFSCME that produced the nation's first public-sector labor law in Wisconsin in 1959. Slater introduces readers to a determined and often-ignored segment of the union movement and expands our knowledge of working men and women, the institutions they formed, and the organizational obstacles they faced.


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This book is a great read. You learn about the history that is not taught. Highly recommended for any conscience person.


The Boston Police Strike of 1919
YellowDog Contracts and the Seattle Teachers 19281931
Public Sector Labor Law before Legalized Collective Bargaining
GroundFloor Politics and the BSEIU in the 1930s
The New York City TWU in the Early 1940s
Wisconsins Public Sector Labor Laws of 1959 and 1962
Selected Bibliography

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Page 249 - The Legacy of Industrial Pluralism: The Tension Between Individual Employment Rights and the New Deal Collective Bargaining System, 59 U.
Page 251 - Board of Transportation of the City of New York and Transport Workers Union of America...

About the author (2004)

Joseph E. Slater is Eugene N. Balk Professor of Law and Values at the University of Toledo.

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