The Boston Police Strike in 1919 was justified.

Essay by iamzeroHigh School, 11th gradeA-, April 2004

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In my opinion the Boston Police Force's decision to go on strike was justified. The policemen were not being unreasonable with their demands. Before the strike Boston police had inadequate salaries, long hours and decrepit working conditions. To say that the police were obligated to do their job is not a valid reason to blame them. If the city of Boston were really that concerned with the welfare of Boston they would have agreed with the Police's demands. The event is one of the first good examples of workers being denied their rights unjustly by a government that doesn't want them to have power or even representation. Also, I think this was a good example of what can happen when workers demands are ignored.

On the day of September 19, 1919 the policemen of Boston went on strike. 1,117 police officers refused to work until the city agreed to let them create their union and get better working conditions.

When the policemen went on strike (nearly ¾ of the Boston Police force) things began to fall apart. When people came to the realization that there was nobody to stop them from doing anything people began looting and several violent events occurred. Eventually the Massachusetts State militia was sent in to restore order. Several civilians died in fights with the militia, altogether around 20 or so people died during the period of the strike. Many people blamed the police for these deaths, but the police deserve to be safe as much as anyone who died in the looting. To deny the police the rights of labor that should be standard for all workers is not the fault of the police. Their cause was reasonable and although there were victims because of it, they shouldn't have been held responsible for that.

In the end, the Boston Police strike was a failure. The state hired new officers and the striking workers never got their jobs back. While the governor Coolidge and Commissioner Curtis were against the strike, Samuel Gompers of the AFL supported them. Regardless of what the effects of the strike were, the government did not have the right to punish the officers or deny them their jobs. No matter what your job is you should be able to go to work every day not feeling as if you're being overworked and that nobody cares about you. Police deserve fair wages, reasonable hours and clean working conditions as much as anyone else. While their job may have been more important than that of other works in the US, that just means that Coolidge should have tried more to bargain with the police, not ignore them. In my opinion Coolidge is to blame for the police Strike of 1919.