Employers can also hold-off on hiring additional employees in response to a labor strike by threatening to reduce their hours, or temporarily shut down their plant.
This is a tactic they often take when the cost of business, or revenue has fallen since the strike began. If the company doesn’t need any more help and revenues are steady, they aren’t likely to hire additional workers because of management’s perceived mismanagement. Furthermore, employees don’t get paid while they go on strike so there is no incentive for them to return once it ends.
Many business owners worry that a labor strike will negatively impact the company by damaging their reputation, damaging their bottom line, and causing them to have financial problems. If this occurs, the business would have to engage in expensive repair and maintenance efforts, waste time and effort trying to talk employees out of striking, or go through mediation.
In short, businesses would be required to spend a large amount of money in order for the labor dispute to end.
Under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), employers are prohibited from interfering with or punishing union organizing campaigns within the United States. This law doesn’t prohibit employers from using these tactics, but instead lays out the legal steps of a strike and gives union leaders proper protections for organizing efforts.
Interference with or punishment of a union organizing campaign occurs when an employer interferes with employees’ decision to join or remain in a union, regardless of whether the employee is still in some form of bargaining process with their employer.
Generally speaking, employers cannot force employees to wait until they reach a “pre-certification” stage before they are allowed to join together. However, it is important to note that these labor relations laws do not apply to “closed shops”, meaning that an employer can only interfere with a unionization attempt during the hiring process. After the contract has already been negotiated and the change to a union shop has occurred, these rules do not apply.
Under Section 8(a)(1) of the NLRA, employees are guaranteed freedom of association. This means that employers cannot prevent unions from coming onto the property or attending to their business in any way, shape, or form.
However, employers can’t force unions out at gunpoint or even fire them for being a part of a union unless that action is being taken as part of an illegal strike. Under Section 8(a)(3) of the NLRA, employees are also granted picketing rights in order to get their message across effectively and efficiently.