The President of the U.S. has threatened to use authority granted by the Railway Labor Act (RLA) to prevent a strike

On several occasions in the last decade, the President of the U.S. has threatened to use authority granted by the Railway Labor Act (RLA) to prevent a strike. For example, George W. Bush threatened to use this power to prevent a strike by West Coast dock workers and by aircraft mechanics at Northwest Airlines.

 

The Railway Labor Act (RLA)

 

The RLA gives the federal government the authority to intervene to prevent or stop a strike when public welfare or national security is at stake. Should the president have such authority? Should the president also have the authority to do so at other times?

Does this authority prevent unions from exercising the right to strike given to them by the RLA and the National Labor Relations Act (Wagner Act)?Should the president have and use this authority for national security and public welfare? If so, why and under what conditions, i.e., what constitutes the public welfare and national security?

If not, why not? Should this authority be extended to other situations such as those that may cause great inconvenience and/or cost to the public?

Justify your answer using examples and reasoning

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