Wednesday, November 25, 2020

1889 Institute: ban collective bargaining in government

Even Franklin Roosevelt opposed collective bargaining in government employment.

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK (November 23, 2020) – The 1889 Institute has published a new paper titled “Liberate Oklahoma from Public Sector Union Domination.” The paper argues that allowing government to collectively bargain with public employees “robs the people of their sovereignty over government,” which happens because unions can hold the public hostage by denying essential, government-monopolized services when they strike.

As demonstrated a few years ago, Oklahoma’s anti-strike law is inadequate, especially as it relates to teachers. In that case, the more subtle way that unionized public employees undermine the people’s sovereignty is in the way unions act as powerful political influences, effectively allowing government employees to hire their employers by being a key voting bloc. School boards clearly acted more as representatives of unionized employees than representatives of the people, parents, or students.

“The research by our former Legal Fellow, Ben Lepak, shows that it was once a bipartisan consensus that public employee collective bargaining was antithetical to good government,” said Byron Schlomach, director of the 1889 Institute. “The research shows that as recently as 1993, when Texas was still dominated by Democrats, this consensus resulted in the banning of collective bargaining in that state,” said Schlomach.

The paper includes an explanation of how Oklahoma’s status as a “right-to-work” state is inadequate and provides a model for legislation to strengthen protections for Oklahoma’s general citizenry. That model, and other model legislation, are available on the 1889 Institute’s website,

About the 1889 Institute
The 1889 Institute is an Oklahoma think tank committed to independent, principled state policy fostering limited and responsible government, free enterprise and a robust civil society. The publication, “Liberate Oklahoma from Public Sector Union Domination” and other reports can be found on the nonprofit’s website at


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