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Feb 20th, 2015
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Question description

The Ability to Strike

Critically analyze the Boston Police Strike of 1919 and determine the reasons behind the failed organization of law enforcement labor unions. What significantly changed during the 1960’s that afforded law enforcement the opportunity to unionize? What factors of unionization remain diluted?

Week 1 Discussion 2

Our discussion then the individuals, need to tell the bad and good of post list references thanks


The Boston Police Strike of 1919 was the icing on the cake. The 1900’s saw a violent, social unrest, and political upset. This was all to the fact that elected and appointed officials like mayors and police commissioners viewed trade labor unions as a threat to national security. Furthermore the politicians and police chiefs viewed the police and the offices as a branch of the government; therefore a police department’s affiliation in politics, and labor unions and open support of other political leaders was unacceptable. In a sense it was viewed as unethical for a police department to be involved in these issues and questioned the neutrality of the police department. However the police did not view this issue in the same light.  After the police department saw the fire fighters gained a win by creating a union and threatening to strike, which resulted in the city providing a better wage. The police though if they can do it so can we. After the Boston police commissioner refused to recognize the police union, the union appealed to the AFL and was granted a charter however the commissioner still refused to recognize the police union. The result of the ordeal was four days on mass looting, violence and injury. Attributed to 1,117 of the 1,544 police officers striking. Since the results of the strike where so horrendous the AFL decided not to support the strike fearing the consequences. As a result police unions where regarded in a bad light. It wasn’t till the 1955 when the AFL merged with the CIO saw a new trend emerging in the effort of police unions. Added the fact that police where becoming highly militant in the 1960’s there was only one answer for the AFL-CIO to put the differences aside and accept police unions. The first police union was a national union, the International Union of Police Association chartered in 1979. 

Delord, R., Shannon, M., Burpo, J., & Spearing, J. (Eds.). (2008). Police union power, politics, and confrontation in the 21st century: New challenges, new issues (2nd ed.). United States of America: Charles C. Thomas Publisher, Ltd

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