Box 14, Folder 12, Document 41

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RE: Memorandum on right of City of Atlanta Firemen to strike.

"Although there have been many strikes by public employees,
very few of them have reached the courts, or at least, very few have
been reported. However, in every case that has been reported, the
right of public employees to strike has been emphatically denied.
Unlike the right of labor in private industry, public employees do
not possess the rights of collective bargaining, the right to strike,
or the right to picket.'"' 31 ALR 2d 1149 8 3, 1159 8 11.

"Furthermore, the courts have generally denied union member-
ship to policemen and firemen because they owe undivided allegiance
to the public, and because it is absolutely necessary to the main-
tenance of discipline in the two services that public authorities
have complete control over them." 31 Am Jur 429 8 56,

The constant argument of strikers in reported cases is that
the right to strike is an inherent right protected by the provisions
of the Constitution.

The universal view of the courts is that "there is no in-
herent right in employees to strike against their governmental em-
ployer, whether federal, state or political subdivision thereof, and
strike of municipal employees for any purpose is illegal". Board of
Education of Community Unit School District #2, Appellant, vs. Doris
Redding, et al., Supreme Court of Illinois, May 20, 1965. This was
a case of first impression in the Supreme Court of Illinois.. Cus-
todial employees, in this case, were conducting a strike against their
school board employer and were picketing the schools in support of
the strike.

"In absence of legislative authority, public employees in
general have no right to strike against the government.'' Los Angeles
Metropolitan Transit Authority vs. Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen,
355 P.2d 905. This right must be deliberately expressed and is not to

be implied. The Delaware River and Bay Authority vs. The Inter-
national Organization of Masters, Mates and Pilots, 211 A2d 789.

"In absence of legislation, right of employees of the Port
of Seattle, a political subdivision of the State and a municipal
corporation, to strike is subordinate to the immunity therefrom
of the Port of Seattle."" Port of Seattle vs. International Long-
shoremens and Warehousemens Union, 324 P2d 1099.

A search of Georgia. laws reveals that there is no State
statute which gives public employees the authority to strike
against their employer.

The Supreme Court of Georgia,’ in the case of International
Longshoremens Association, AFL-CIO, et al., vs. Georgia Ports
Authority, held that "it is contrary to the public policy of the
State of Georgia for State employees to strike". Several out-of-
state cases were cited in support of this finding. This case in-
volved the right of employees of the State Ports Authority to strike.
In further support of this ruling, Georgia Laws 1962, p.459 was
cited and Section 1 of said Act provides:

"Section 1. No person holding a position by appoint-
ment or employment in the government of the State of Georgia
or any agency, authority, board, commission, or public in-
stitution thereof shall promote, encourage or participate in
any strike."

The question arises as to whether or not this State law is
applicable to an employee of a municipality. Is a municipality an
agent, authority, board, commission or public institution of the
State of Georgia? ;

Municipalities, in the following cases, have been classified
as agencies or departments of the State:
' '"Municipalities' are agencies of the commonwealth
created by the sovereignty of the people."’ Adams v. Oklahoma
City, 95: -P. 975.979. 20 OkL. 519.

"A 'municipality' is merely a political subdivision
or department of the state." Jersey City v. Martin, 19A.2d
40, 45, 126 N.J.L. 353; Storrs v. Heck, 190 So. 78, 84, 238
Ala. 196.

"A municipality, being no more than a governmental
agency of the state with the powers limited and defined
by statute. . ."' Valentine v. Road Directors of Allegany
County, 126 A. 147, 150, 146 Md. 199.

"A municipality is a state agency for governmental
purposes, It exercises political governmental powers
delegated by the state.'"' City of Lexington v. Thompson,
68 S.W., 477, 479, 113 Ky. 540, 57 L.R.A. 775.

"A 'municipal corporation' is a department of the
government of state, created by the Legislature. . . and
is synonymous with 'public corporation' and 'municipality'."
Neuenschwander v. Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission,
48 A.2d 593, 597, 187 Md. 67.

" 'Municipality' is, in its governmental aspect, an
agency of the state for the administration, within the pre-
scribed limits, of the governmental function and powers of
the state.'' Public Service Electric & Gas Co. v. City of
Camden, 192 A. 222, 226, 118 N.J.L. 245.

No reported cases have been found wherein a municipal
employer attempted to bring itself within the purview of the 1962
Act. Even though a court might hold that a municipal employer does
not come within the scope of the 1962 Act, it appears that a strike
could be successfully enjoined on the ground that municipal em-
ployees have no express right to strike, that a strike by municipal
employees is contrary to public policy and that the municipal em-
ployer is immune from strikes by its employees.

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