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From a February 11th article by Robert M. Schwartz:

When a contract expires with no prospect of a settlement, the union has three choices:

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.

Schwartz goes on discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the strategy. Please follow below.

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:

Troublemakers Blog

Work Rights Press

Originally posted to JayRaye on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 04:00 PM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (6+ / 0-)

    WE NEVER FORGET Our Labor Martyrs. For Jan: Right-to-Work/Right-to-Live(?)

    by JayRaye on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 04:00:10 PM PST

  •  Sadly, public workers are limited (4+ / 0-)

    in what actions can be taken.  Strikes or other job actions are prohibited.  Informational picketing creates problems with use of space, even public space, as the "new rules" preventing protests in Wisconsin state facilities clearly demonstrates.

    That said, there are ways to ensure "no contract, no peace".   You just have to be very creative.

    There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

    by Puddytat on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 04:22:26 PM PST

    •  Thank you for stopping by, Puddytat! (4+ / 0-)

      Yes they've got us pretty well hemmed in, yet I found Labor Notes' Troublemakers Handbook & also some of their other books, very helpful when I was a shop steward. We took some pretty creative actions during our rank & file safety action...

      and we won that fight.

      Of course, we had a contract, so not quite the same, but still similar in that it was an inside strategy.

      Troublemakers Handbook

      Working and fighting without a contract is basically what the Walmart and warehouse workers are doing right now.

      Not easy, takes courage, but better than not fighting back at all, IMO.

      WE NEVER FORGET Our Labor Martyrs. For Jan: Right-to-Work/Right-to-Live(?)

      by JayRaye on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 04:30:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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