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More on Strikes by Public Employees (with Ralph K. Winter, Jr.), 79 Yale Law Journal 441 (1970)


We have two brief observations on the paper by Messrs. Burton and Krider. First, we suggest that society is not limited to a choice between their strike and no-strike alternatives. Our earlier article argued that the typical municipal political structure is vulnerable to strikes by wvell entrenched public employee unions, and that, given this existing political structure, the no-strike model is preferable to the strike model. We stated, however, that changes in the political structure which reduce the vulnerability of municipal employers to strikes by public employees can be made and that we intended (and we still do intend) to explore these possibilities in a future article. There is, therefore, a third model—one which permits some strikes in conjunction with various changes in municipal political structures.

Second, we wish to define what seems to be the principal area of our disagreement with Messrs. Burton and Krider. All agree that the services performed by some public employees are in one way or another "essential" and that this "essentiality" is in some sense related to society's ability to tolerate strikes. However, which employees under the Burton-Krider strike model are to have union activities limited depends very much on one's view of essentiality. It is now clear that our vision is different from theirs.

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