Box 14, Folder 12, Document 76

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Box 14, Folder 12, Document 76

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é :
fhe Honorable Mayor Ivan Allen, Jr. \y \aw
City ofAtlanta \\
City Hall
Atlanta, Georgia / wh


AS an economics professor (Georgia Tech), I have a mogee than Wp ..!
in the present firemen's dispute, but let me emphasize that I am writing
this as a private citizen. Thus, I hope w ou will respect my position by
maintaining complete confidence. Also, please understand that my remarks,
while admittedly blunt at times, are offered in good faith.

I note that you have said that you would not talk to the firemen until the
court order is obeyed. While I agree completely, I think your original
mistake was in recognizing the union as the bargaining agent for wages and
hourse True, you have not granted formal recognition, as the tikerm is used
in Federal laws. But you have tacitly sanctioned collective action by the
mere fact that you attempted a settlement on those issues.

On the other hand, to compound your folly, wou have refused to recognize
the firemen on non-economic issuese There is virtually unanimous agreement
among those who have studied worker attitudes that the one thing heading
their list of desires is freedom frmm arbitrary action. And I strongly
suspect that if you had really delved into the situation, you would have
found that what the rankeand-file firemen really want is the assurance of
some voice in determining their working conditions and other non-economic
items. (The American Bar Association, as early as 1955, went on record as
favoring the granting of such privileges to public employees.)

Your mock "mediation" was a farce, again reflecting a short-rungshort-sighted,
holding action. (And the consulting firm's report will not likely get to

the bottom of& the issue, since such reports seldom study the human relations
aspect.) You apparently did not even know the difference between mediation
and fact-finding, since you appointed a fact-finder, but called him a
mediator, yet did not allow him to mediate. If the outside neutral had
really been aléowed to mediate, he very possibly could have settled the
problem amicably, and without dealing with economic is sues.

As a long-time student of the subject, I would say that our attitudes toward
labor problems have gone through three stages; First, the purely arbitrary
approach, which means fire any one who raises a protest. Second, one of
appeasement, which was réflected in the days of patemalism, which prevailed
especially from the turn of this century to the late 1930's. Finally,
recognition was granted to worker groups, and it is only since then that
we have had reasonably calm industrial relations.

In my opinion, appeasement is the worst of the three, yet this was your
original approach. Now, you have taken the second worst approach - that of
arbitrariness. And I am highly afraid that discharging and replacing the
firemen, while it may close the wound immediately, may cause a continuing
festering underneath, breaking out elsewhere in time. That is, if the City
gains the reputation of being an Iron Handetype of employer, recruiting will
in time become difficult, especially when we went so wild with public funds
to obtain a stadium, inter alia.
In addition, even in the short run, it would seem that replacing the firmmen
will be cumbersome and terribly expensive. Thus, I am wondering if the
matter might not be settled by taking a conciliatory approach (which you
have not done at any time). If the recognition of a union as the
representative of public employees is prohibited by state law, why not
‘promise to support legislation accordingly (some sixteen states have
such legislation, usually pemitting municipalities to grant recognition
on non-economic items). Presidential Executive Order 10988, signed by
the Late President Kennedy in 1962, could serve as a guide; it permits
advisory arbitration, but again, prohibits strikes; also, negotiations
over wages and other eoonomic issues is not permitted, and virtually

all experts agree that collective bargaining over wages is simply not
compatible with public employment.,

Now in closing, let me point out that if you insist on following your
present approach, it behooves you to fire every salvo available3 otherwise,
we may have a general strike of the type Britain, et al, is noted.

I would suggest that you inform the public of the facts of the situation.
Toward that end, I have put together some items for your perusal. Since

I am trying to get this leteer in the morning mail, it is rather
disjointed, but you can get the content.

Again, I would much prefer a conciliatory approach, even at this Late

“Tedd. Mor


Mack Ae Moore
670 Edgewater Trail, N.W. (Sandy Springs)
Phone: home, 255241723 office, 87384211,X5543

P.S. There is no suggestion intended that you will want to contact me. The
above information is only in case you might.

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