"No right to strike against the public safety" (Coolidge, 1919)
Bapopik at AOL.COM
Bapopik at AOL.COM
Sat Dec 17 00:18:33 UTC 2005
I hate transit strikes.
Fred should have this classic line, now available in the Boston Globe.
16 December 2005, New York Sun, "Hostage for the Holidays" by John P. Avlon,
As Calvin Coolidge famously said dealing with a Boston police strike (and
which Giuliani administration Deputy Mayor Joe Lhota posted on a sign outside
his office during transit negotiations six years ago), "There is no right to
strike against the public safety by anybody, anywhere, any time."
15 September 1919, Boston Daily Globe, pg. 1:
_GOV COOLIDGE'S REPLY_
_TO SAMUEL GOMPERS_
Mr Samuel Gompers,
President American Federation of Labor,
New York City.
Replying to your telegram: I have already refused to remove the Police
Commissioner of Boston. I did not appoint him. He can assume no position which the
courts would uphold except what the people have by the authority of their
law vested in him. He speaks only with their voice.
The right of the police of Boston to affiliate has always been questioned,
never granted, is now prohibited. The suggestion of President Wilson to
Washington does not apply to Boston. There the police have remained on duty. Here
the Policemen's Union left their duty, an action which President Wilson
characterized as a crime against civilization.
Your assertion that the commissioner was wrong cannot justify the wrong of
leaving the city unguarded. That furnished the opportunity, the criminal
element furnished the action. There is no right to strike against the public safety
by anybody, anywhere, any time.
You ask that the public safety again be placed in the hands of these same
policemen while they continue in disobedience to the laws of Massachusetts and
in their refusal to obey the orders of the Police Department. Nineteen men
have been tried and removed. Others having abandoned their duty, their places
have under the law been declared vacant on the opinion of the Attorney General.
I can suggest no authority outside the courts to take further action.
I wish to join and assist in taking a broad view of every situation. A grave
responsibility rests on all of us. You can depend on me to support you in
every legal action and sound policy. I am equally determined to defend the
sovereignty of Massachusetts and to maintain the authority and jurisdiction over
her public officers where it has been placed by the Constitution and laws of
Governor of Massachusetts.
12 November 1919, Outlook, "Calvin Coolidge, American," pg. 291:
That issue he stated in a single sentence which ought never to be forgotten:
"There is no right to strike against the public safety by anybody, anywhere,
27 October 1981, Chicago Tribune, "Odd couple: Reagan, Coolidge" by Arthur
Schlesinger, pg. 25:
When Reagan moved so sternly against the air traffic controllers, he had in
mind Coolidge's celebrated response as governor of Massachusetts to the Boston
police strike: "There is no right to strike against the public safety by
anybody, anywhere, any time."
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