Publication Date

January 2004


From the dawn of the twentieth century to the early 1960s, public-sector unions generally had no legal right to strike, bargain, or arbitrate, and government workers could be fired simply for joining a union. Public Workers is the first book to analyze why public-sector labor law evolved as it did, separate from and much more restrictive than private-sector labor law, and what effect this law had on public-sector unions, organized labor as a whole, and by extension all of American politics. The author shows how public-sector unions survived, represented their members, and set the stage for the most remarkable growth of worker organization in American history.


The abstract, table of contents, and first twenty-five pages are published with permission from the Cornell University Press. For ordering information, please visit the Cornell University Press.