Franklin Delano Roosevelt would have applauded Scott Walker's victory in Wisconsin!
FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT
Letter on the Resolution of Federation of Federal Employees
Against Strikes in Federal Service
August 16, 1937
Mr. Luther C.
National Federation of Federal
10 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C.
My dear Mr. Steward:
As I am unable to accept
your kind invitation to be present on the occasion of the Twentieth
Jubilee Convention of the National Federation of Federal Employees, I
am taking this method of sending greetings and a message.
. . . .
All Government employees
should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually
understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service. It has
its distinct and insurmountable limitations when applied to public
personnel management. The very nature and purposes of Government make
it impossible for administrative officials to represent fully or to
bind the employer in mutual discussions with Government employee
organizations. The employer is the whole people, who speak by means
of laws enacted by their representatives in Congress. Accordingly,
administrative officials and employees alike are governed and guided,
and in many instances restricted, by laws which establish policies,
procedures, or rules in personnel matters.
Particularly, I want to
emphasize my conviction that militant tactics have no place in the
functions of any organization of Government employees. Upon employees
in the Federal service rests the obligation to serve the whole
people, whose interests and welfare require orderliness and
continuity in the conduct of Government activities. This obligation
is paramount. Since their own services have to do with the
functioning of the Government, a strike of public employees manifests
nothing less than an intent on their part to prevent or obstruct the
operations of Government until their demands are satisfied. Such
action, looking toward the paralysis of Government by those who have
sworn to support it, is unthinkable and intolerable. It is,
therefore, with a feeling of gratification that I have noted in the
constitution of the National Federation of Federal Employees the
provision that "under no circumstances shall this Federation
engage in or support strikes against the United States Government."
I congratulate the
National Federation of Federal Employees the twentieth anniversary of
its founding and trust that the convention will, in every way, be
Very sincerely yours,
/s/ Franklin Delano Roosevelt
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