With the convening of the 100th Congress, last February, Representative William Clay introduced a bill (H.R. 1201) which would use the power of the federal government to force state and local governments to recognize and bargain with firefighter unions. The measure would further mandate that firemen pay "representation fees" as a condition of their employment. Although the bill contains a "no strike" provision, a strike is not defined as an unfair labor practice, thus, exempting such an action from its enforcement provisions.
Dr. Leo Troy in The Proposed Fire Fighters' Labor Act of 1987 offers a discerning analysis of this legislation, discussing it from both the perspective of state and sovereignty and its effects on the budgetary process. Her fears that its enactment would be one more step on the path towards obliterating the distinction between public and private sector labor relations with all the ramifications such an event would entail.