Academic Journals Database
Disseminating quality controlled scientific knowledge

ECONOMICS, GRIEVANCES, PROTECTWE-EMPLOYEE UNIONIZATION, AND THE 1978 MEMPHIS FIRE AND POLICE STRIKES

ADD TO MY LIST
 
Author(s): Charles Steven Palmer

Journal: Essays in Economic & Business History
ISSN 0896-226X

Volume: 22;
Issue: 1;
Date: 2004;
Original page

ABSTRACT
In the summer of 1978, police officers and fire fighters in Memphis, Tennessee walked off their jobs ostensibly over a salary dispute. While economics did indeed play a crucial role in the ultimate decision to strike, the walkouts were more the result of a sense of frustration among police officers and firefighters owing to their perception that the city administration had little respect for them and their unions. This paper discusses the events leading up to the 1978 Memphis fire and police strikes, the formation of unions in the Memphis police and fire departments, the political obstacles these municipal unions had to overcome, and how these strikes altered the relationship between the City of Memphis and all of its employee unions.The unionization of Memphis police and firefighters occurred not simply as part of a local or national trend, but came about due to specific grievances, controlled by local politics, influenced by national events. The 1978 strikes arose due to a breakdown in communication between a city administration that had little experience in dealing with unions, and its police officers and firefighters who had become more professional throughout the twentieth century and demanded recognition as such. Over the long term, the lessons learned from the strikes brought about a more stable relationship betweenthe City of Memphis and its municipal employees.
Why do you need a reservation system?      Save time & money - Smart Internet Solutions