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lindagray

Strike Action (Wikipedia) 5

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Union busting
One method of inhibiting or ending a strike is firing union members who are striking which can result in elimination of the union. Although this has happened it is rare due to laws regarding firing and "right to strike" having a wide range of differences in the US depending on whether union members are public or private sector. Laws also vary country to country. In the UK, "It is important to understand that there is no right to strike in UK law." Employees who strike risk dismissal, unless it is an official strike (one called or endorsed by their union) in which case they are protected from unlawful dismissal, and cannot be fired for at least 12 weeks. UK laws regarding work stoppages and strikes are defined within the Employment Relations Act 1999 and the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992.

One of the most significant cases of mass-dismissals in the UK in 2005 involved the sacking of over 600 Gate Gourmet employees at Heathrow Airport, to which the media responded with outrage. Under the direction of Gate Gourmet's HR Director Andy Cook, according to BBC: "Gate Gourmet sacked more than 600 staff last week in a working practices row, prompting a walkout by British Airways ground staff that paralysed flights and stranded thousands of travellers in the UK." Andy Cook, Gate Gourmet's director of human resources at that time, said: "The company had not been looking to cut the size of the protests, only stop the minority engaged in harassment." Cook is now CEO of the UK labor relations advisory firm Marshall-James Global Solutions Ltd.

In 1962 US President John F. Kennedy issued Executive Order #10988 which permitted federal employees to form trade unions but prohibited strikes (codified in 1966 at 5 U.S.C. 7311 - Loyalty and Striking). In 1981, after public sector union PATCO (Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization) went on strike illegally, President Ronald Reagan fired all of the controllers. His action resulted in the dissolution of the union. PATCO reformed to become the National Air Traffic Controllers Association.

In the U.S., as established in the National Labor Relations Act there is a legally protected right for private sector employees to strike to gain better wages, benefits, or working conditions and they cannot be fired. Striking for economic reasons (i.e., protesting workplace conditions or supporting a union's bargaining demands) allows an employer to hire permanent replacements. The replacement worker can continue in the job and then the striking worker must wait for a vacancy. But if the strike is due to unfair labor practices (ULP), the strikers replaced can demand immediate reinstatement when the strike ends. If a collective bargaining agreement is in effect, and it contains a "no-strike clause", a strike during the life of the contract could result in the firing of all striking employees which could result in dissolution of that union.

Lockout
Another counter to a strike is a lockout, the form of work stoppage in which an employer refuses to allow employees to work. Two of the three employers involved in the Caravan park grocery workers strike of 2003-2004 locked out their employees in response to a strike against the third member of the employer bargaining group. Lockouts are, with certain exceptions, lawful under United States labor law.

Violence
Historically, some employers have attempted to break union strikes by force. One of the most famous examples of this occurred during the Homestead Strike of 1892. Industrialist Henry Clay Frick sent private security agents from the Pinkerton National Detective Agency to break the Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers strike at a Homestead, Pennsylvania steel mill. Two strikers were killed, twelve wounded, along with two Pinkertons killed and eleven wounded. In the aftermath, Frick was shot in the neck and then stabbed by Alexander Berkman, surviving the attack, while Berkman was sentenced to 22 years in prison.

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