Federal workers in the United States are bound by law to not strike, and many union leaders claim their workers "believe in public service" and "they’re not just going to walk away".

Given that disruption of regular services is the most potent weapon in any union's arsenal, what kind of leverage do federal workers' unions really have?

Edit: It appears a mass "sickout" is a possible way to circumvent the legal definition of a "strike" to cause work stoppage:

A "sickout", or (especially by uniformed police officers) "blue flu", is a type of strike action in which the strikers call in sick. This is used in cases where laws prohibit certain employees from declaring a strike. Police, firefighters, air traffic controllers, and teachers in some U.S. states are among the groups commonly barred from striking usually by state and federal laws meant to ensure the safety or security of the general public.

  • I would guess/speculate that revealing information to opposition party members might be a potential source of leverage, but I'm not really familiar. – magnus.orion Jan 17 at 5:12
  • Not all agencies deal with information that would be politically damaging to reveal, and may not have an opposition party to reveal it to. An example would be the Social Security Administration. – Elle Fie Jan 17 at 22:59
  • Well they could reveal it to the current opposition party that is in opposition to the administration. And the fact that not all of them can do it would be why they're in a union. But again, I'm just speculating. Without evidence all I'm saying is pretty much worthless. – magnus.orion Jan 18 at 2:53

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.