Labor in the United States has been commonly associated with images of industrialism, factories, and skilled craftsmen. This narrow vision of labor ignores the millions of Americans employed by the federal, state, and local governments. As early national labor law failed to define the rights of government employees, each state was forced to create their own public labor law through judicial rulings and state legislation. This study is framed around the struggles of Rhode Island public employees, specifically public school teachers, to obtain the right to organize and employ labor's greatest weapon, the strike. An in-depth examination of the 1975 Woonsocket Teachers' Guild strike incorporating the experiences of union officers, labor lawyers, and other participants provides a concrete example of the difficulties encountered by government employees against the courts, legislature, and public opinion.