Collective Bargaining and the Right to Strike

Collective bargaining and the right to strike are discussed in detail. Though precedent setting has made the processes of collective bargaining more and more predictable, collective bargaining does not always have a smooth floe Many things may happen that prevent both sides from keeping the process from moving. In the USA three things can happen when an impasse develops.

  • Conciliation or mediation
  • A strike or a lockout
  • Arbitration

In India and Sri Lanka, impasses more often lead to strikes than the other two options. However, trends in recent recessionary times have shown a greater willingness on both sides to resort to the other two options.

The Canadian Oxford dictionary defines a strike as ‘an organized refusal by employees to work until some grievance is remedied. Such a withdrawal of service to the employer can be triggered by a variety of causes and circumstances, In the US, a series of distinctions are made, as follows:

The Right to Strike

  1. Contract strike – This occurs when management and the union cannot agree on the terms of a new contract. In the USA more than 90% of the strikes are contract strikes.
  2. Grievance strike – This  occurs  when the  union  disagrees  on how management interprets the contract or handles day-to-day problems such as discipline. These are usually prohibited by about 95% of the contracts in the USA but occur frequently in some specific industries.
  3. Jurisdictional strike – This take place when two or more unions disagree on which jobs should be organized by each union. The Taft-Hartley Act gives the NLRB power to settle these issues unions also have their own methods of settling them.

    Collective Bargaining and the Right to Strike

    Collective Bargaining and the Right to Strike

  4. Recognition strike – This occurs as a strategy to force an employer to accept the union. Only 1% of strikes in the US are in this category.
  5. Political strike – This takes places to influence government policy. Extremely rare in the USA.
  6. Economic strike – This lakes place when employee/union demands” on wages, working hours and terms and conditions of employment are not met.
  7. Wildcat strike – This is a quick, sudden and unauthorized stoppage of wet and is illegal.
  8. Sit-down strike   – In   this   type  of action,   employees   get  to  their places/points of work but refuse to work.
  9. Sympathy strike – In this, employees or the union is not connected with the dispute, but strike in order to show their solidarity with the striking union. In the USA such a strike is illegal under the Taft-Hartley Act.

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