Orisons answer : When theBoston PD decided to strike they had every reason. World War one had just endedinflation had jumped almost 80% with pay only raising about 18% and to top itoff the officers had to buy their own uniforms and equipment. The officers wererequired to live at the station in less than desirable living conditions. Thegovernment officials saw unions as evil and a threat. While there wereapproximately 40 police unions in the nation none of them were recognized bythe police commissioner of Boston so the AFL allowed officers to join underthem. This however did not last due to the officers going on strike andlawlessness erupting in Boston. The AFL wanted to back out due to the negative imageand the officers were left without a union to represent them. This incidentmade police unions a taboo and they were avoided for many years. In 1955 whenthe AFL and the CIO joined together and with the militarization of the lawenforcement profession throughout the 1960’s police unions were againconsidered.
Unions tend to bevery political giving money to campaigns for elected officials who support theviews and beliefs of the union rather that going for what is good for thecommunity as a whole. While Unions are good in some ways such as fair pay andtime off they can also harm smaller agencies due to the budget not being thereto support the demands of the unions. While it is illegal for police unions togo on strike there are still cases of “blue flu” from time to time.
Orison: I support Orisonsstatement that when the Boston Police Department decided to strike they ha avery good reason. The Boston police officers went on strike back in 1919. Theywanted recognition for their trade union and also wanted there wages and workingconditions improved. It was the mayor and the city who had responsibility forthe police department’s expenses, and the physical working conditions of theiremployees. It was the commissioner who had controlled the departmentsoperations, such as hiring, and training, including discipline of the policeofficers.. As Orison stated the police had to buy their own uniforms andequipment, Back in 1918 a police officeronly made $1,400 a year. There uniforms cost over $200. “New recruits received $730 during theirfirst year, which increased annually to $821.25 and $1000, and to $1,400 aftersix years” (Russell,1930). Government officials saw theunion as a threat just like Walmart. They have never been unionized, and when theywere the shut the doors a week later. It was the President of the AFL(Gompers)who suggested the workers to go back to work as stated by Orison. It was thesuggestion of President Wilson forbidding the workers to join the union, Apolice officer is seen as a public servant who has the honor of the communityin his hands. The strike was very successful. It was the Boston’s PoliceAssociation that was formed in 1965. “following the enactment of a statestatute allowing state and municipal workers to organize for the sake ofcollective bargaining.”
FrancisRussell, A City in Terror: Calvin Coolidge and the 1919 Boston Police Strike(Boston: Beacon Press, 1930, reprinted 1975), ISBN978-0-8070-5033-0, 48
Jack R. Greene, The Encyclopedia of Police Science, 3rd edition,volume 1 (Routledge, 2007), 100, availableonline, accessed September 19, 2014
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