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[Smlr_net] SSRN: Public Sector Labor Law and History: The Politics of Ancient History?

Eugene McElroy mcelroy at
Thu Jun 16 13:01:26 EDT 2011


Abstract from Social Science Research Network: *
 *"This article discuss three books that address various aspects of public
sector labor history. It seeks to contextualize the current debate over
public sector labor law and relations through the lessons of relevant
history. The first book discussed is entitled The Man Who Saved New York:
Hugh Carey and the Great Fiscal Crisis of 1975, by Seymour P. Lachman and
Robert Polner. It recounts the leadership of Governor Carey and public
sector labor leaders in reaching negotiated solutions through collective
bargaining that helped solve New York City's fiscal crisis in 1975. The
second book is a long-forgotten 1948 treatise Government as Employer by
Sterling D. Spero, published at the dawn of public sector collective
bargaining in the United States. Unlike most histories of American labor,
Spero's book focuses on the public sector, providing an important antidote
to the dominance of the private sector narrative in United States labor
historiography. The final book examined is a labor history published last
year: There is Power in a Union: The Epic Story of Labor in America by
Philip Dray. Dray's book presents an episodic labor history of America's
private sector from the rise of industrialization to today, which touches
upon certain events in public sector labor history." *

Eugene McElroy
Library Associate

School of Management and Labor Relations
SMLR Library
Rutgers University
50 Labor Center Way
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
(732) 932-9513
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