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From "Porkchoppers" to "Lambchoppers": The Passage of Florida's Public Employee Relations Act

Berkeley Miller and William Canak
Industrial and Labor Relations Review
Vol. 44, No. 2 (Jan., 1991), pp. 349-366
Published by: Sage Publications, Inc.
DOI: 10.2307/2524814
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2524814
Page Count: 18
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From "Porkchoppers" to "Lambchoppers": The Passage of Florida's Public Employee Relations Act
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Abstract

This study suggests an historical explanation for Florida's enactment of a statewide public sector collective bargaining law in 1974. Florida has characteristics that, in other states, have tended to militate against the passage of such a law: a weak statewide labor movement, low interparty competition, active business opposition, and the long-term incumbency of conservative southern Democrats. Using interviews and historical documents, the authors identify events and conditions that, they argue, account for the 1974 legislation. Notably, federal court-ordered reapportionment led to the election of urban progressives; a revision of the state's constitution gave public employees collective bargaining rights; and the Florida Supreme Court, responding to a suit filed by a local teachers' union, took actions that forced the legislature to enact a collective bargaining law.

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