On the book- Labor Relations “Striking a Balance by John W. Budd- Chapter 8: talks about the various different type of strike. Answer the fallowing:   summarize and distinguish among the various...

On the book- Labor Relations “Striking a Balance by John W. Budd- Chapter 8: talks about the various different type of strike. Answer the fallowing:  

  • summarize and distinguish among the various kinds of strikes that unions and employees can use to pressure an employer.
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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The different types of strikes that unions and employees can pursue are deliberately designed to increase voice in the collective bargaining process. Budd feels that this process is an indelible part of the relationship between labor and management in American business.  The different types of strikes help to bring some level of equity to this relationship.

Budd argues that the impasse is one approach to placing pressure on an employer.  The impasse emerges from an economic frame of reference. It takes place during contract negotiations and happens when an economic target is not being met.  The impasse is not a strike, but is a collective agreement to indicate that management has to alter its approach.  It usually indicates that a strike is forthcoming and serves as a call to its membership that collective action might need to be taken.

From the impasse that happens during negotiation, an economic strike may take place.  The economic strike is designed to "obtain from the employer some economic concession such as higher wages, shorter hours, or better working conditions."  The economic strike is focused on tangible and material elements. The employer may respond by hiring replacement workers.

The progression from an economic strike to an unfair labor practice strike is significant.  In this strike, workers protest in collective action because of perceived bad faith in negotiations or evidence that management has not complied with the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).  If investigations from the National Labor Relations board indicate that there has been an abdication of compliance with the NLRA, striking workers are "entitled to have their jobs back even if employees hired to do their work have to be discharged" and may be awarded backpay as punishment to the employer.  

In both of these types of strikes, Budd asserts that collective voice can be restored against management, thereby helping to create a more equitable relationship.  Other types of strike are the wildcat strike, where workers go on strike without the consent of the union, and the sympathy strike, where one union goes on strike in support of another union and in display of solidarity action.  

For Budd, the ability to strike is essential in order to restore the balance between management and labor.  Budd sees the problems of the current workplace as traceable to this lack of balance in how unions and employees are more reticent to embracing a strike in the first place.  He feels that “employees have become more fearful of losing their jobs and less willing to call a strike to begin with."  Budd feels that the definition of strikes and understanding their nuanced purpose is critical to ensuring that the relationship between labor and management is one of relative equality and one that authenticates voice.

  • Unfair labor practice strikes, which protest employers’ illegal activities.
  • Economic strikes, which may occur when there are disputes over wages or benefits.
  • Recognition strikes, which are intended to force employers to recognize unions.
  • Jurisdictional strikes, which are concerted refusals to work to affirm members’ right to particular job assignments and to protest the assignment of work to another union or to unorganized employees.

("Are All Types of Strikes Protected Under the National Labor Relations Act?" Society for Human Resource Management. National Federation of Independent Business.)

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