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Challenging the Taylor Law: Prison guards on strike

  • Lynn Zimmer
  • James B. Jacobs
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    In analyzing the 1979 strike by nearly all of the prison guards in New York State, this paper focuses on the social organization of the prison environment and the guards' changing occupational role as critical causes of the strike. Many guards believe that in recent years they have lost status and much of their authority; in addition, racial tension has mounted within the guard force as well as between guards and inmates. The authors argue that collective bargaining is not well suited to resolving those problems, and in fact the bargaining system may have aggravated them. The authors also analyze the strike's resolution, concluding that it was the state's use of National Guard troops and the application of Taylor Law sanctions, rather than any bargaining strategy by either party, that brought the guards back to work. Finally, the authors suggest that these strike penalties may have intensified the worker anger and discontent that were major causes of the strike. (Abstract courtesy JSTOR.)

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    Article provided by ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School in its journal ILR Review.

    Volume (Year): 34 (1981)
    Issue (Month): 4 (July)
    Pages: 531-543

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    Handle: RePEc:ilr:articl:v:34:y:1981:i:4:p:531-543
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