Ban on the Permanent Replacement of Strikers: The Heritage Foundation 2009 Labor Boot Camp
What Is a Ban on Permanent
Replacement of Strikers?
- Currently, U.S. labor law allows employers to hire replacement
workers during a strike on the same terms as last offered to the
strikers, including permanent employment.
- A ban on permanent replacement of strikers would prevent
employers from offering workers permanent jobs on the same terms
and would require employers to fire any replacement workers
whenever the strikers chose to return.
- Destroy Balance between the Interests of Labor and
- Current law seeks to achieve a balance between the interests of
labor and management during labor negotiations, without favoring
one side over the other.
- Employers are free to hire replacement workers and to continue
operations during a strike.
- If skilled and experienced replacements are not available
locally, an employer may recruit workers from other parts of the
country. Such workers are understandably reluctant to move for a
job that may only last for a few days or weeks.
- Take the Risk out of Striking
- Workers would lose pay during the strike but would not risk
losing their jobs.
- The inevitable result of such legislation would be more
- A ban on hiring replacement workers may guarantee an employee's
right to reinstatement even when a strike was illegal or when it
violated a "no strike" clause in the employee's contract.
- American output and production would be interrupted just when
the economy has been weakened by recession. Employers would find it
difficult to obtain replacement workers during a strike. And by
shifting the balance decisively in favor of unions, the legislation
would slow new job creation.
- Workers who continue working during a strike would be penalized
by prohibiting employers from promoting these workers to positions
left vacant by strikers or from counting time worked during a
strike toward their seniority
- Employing workers in America will be riskier and more expensive
for employers. This in turn will discourage companies from
investing. Many operations would no doubt move to countries with
more balanced labor laws. This will mean fewer job opportunities
available to Americans.
- Labor costs would increase over the long term because companies
would have less ability to resist unreasonable labor demands.
James Sherk is Bradley
Fellow in Labor Policy in the Center for Data Analysis at The