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Labor and Labor Practices - Strikes

workers employer vote replacement

Strikes are divided into two categories: economic strikes and unfair labor practice strikes. Economic strikes are those that take place over issues such as wages and benefits. An unfair labor practice strike occurs when workers strike over an employer's unfair labor practice, particularly the refusal to negotiate. The main difference between the two types lies in the rules regarding an employer's hiring of workers to replace those who are on strike. An employer may hire replacement workers in either case, but only temporary replacements may be hired during an unfair labor practice strike; during an economic strike an employer may hire permanent replacements.

An election held during a strike is usually a decertification election, in which workers may choose to no longer be represented by the union. In such cases permanent replacement workers may vote, but temporary replacements may not vote. Any worker who has not been replaced may vote, and workers who have been permanently replaced may vote in any election for one year after the start of the strike.

A striker who abandons the strike and wants to return to work must be accepted by the employer, if the job is still there and no permanent replacement has been hired. Employers may not discriminate against leaders of the strike in such situations, but they may refuse to accept strikers who have engaged in misconduct during the strike, such as vandalism of company property or intimidation of replacement workers.

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