From a February 11th article by Robert M. Schwartz:
When a contract expires with no prospect of a settlement, the union has three choices:Schwartz goes on discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the strategy. Please follow below.
Agree with the employer to extend the contract for a fixed or an indefinite period
Work without a contract.
For many years, unions mostly stuck to the first two options. Working without a contract was considered a hazardous move that could cut off dues and leave the union open to decertification.
But recently, unions have been taking a closer look at the work-without-a-contract strategy. Some have changed their mantra from “no contract, no work” to “no contract, no peace.” With a helpful December 2012 Labor Board (NLRB) ruling (see below), this trend is likely to gain momentum.
Note: no strategy comes without risks!
Schwartz goes on to list the advantages and disadvantages of the strategy.
Advantages include: the ability to strike without notice (for most unions), and to conduct informational picketing , short warning strikes may be possible, and bargaining over "day-to-day" issues may be possible. Then again, there are disadvantages to consider: union security (or lack thereof), and perhaps most importantly, loss of arbitration rights which affects the ability to fight unfair discipline and discharges.
Schwartz further advises:
Working without a contract should not be undertaken until members have discussed the advantages and disadvantages and expressed their support. It may be the best way to convince an employer that the union is serious and a contract should be settled.Robert M. Schwartz is a pro-union labor lawyer and author. Work Rights Press will realease a new edition of his book on strikes and picketing later this year .
Read the entire article here:
Work Rights Press