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Copyright (c) 1971 Tennessee Law Review Association, Inc.
Tennessee Law Review

ARTICLE: Government Employees and the Right to Strike--The Final Necessary Step

Fall, 1971

39 Tenn. L. Rev. 75


William G. Haemmel *



There is a clear and present need for a modern, positive government employee's relations policy, and government, its employees and the public, will all benefit from its adoption. Further, such a policy should include recognition of the full range of labor relations rights, including the limited right to strike.

The present policy of ignoring the reality of government employees' strikes must be altered. The present answer is ineffective, unrealistic, and affords little protection to the general public, who suffer the impact and bear the cost of the strike. The number of public employees on all three levels of government is growing, the occupational range is broadening, and many public employees have come to realize that the ultimate economic weapon, the strike, is productive of increased benefits. More and more government employee strikes are taking place, and there are few guidelines. The matter is fraught with uncertainty, and confusion and doubt feed on themselves. A modern technological society cannot continue to flounder in the present morass but must have a degree of certainty and predictability; a more realistic approach will supply such an answer.

Over the past decade the labor relations rights of public employees have grown until they have come to hold almost a complete range of labor relations rights; they have gained rights employees in the private sector acquired over the span of a generation. The rights to organize, bargain, process grievances, and arbitrate are being acquired. The right to strike alone remains beyond the ...
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