Academic journal article Monthly Labor Review

Nonstriking Employees Given Job Preference

Academic journal article Monthly Labor Review

Nonstriking Employees Given Job Preference

Article excerpt

Nonstriking employees given job preference

In a defeat for organized labor, the Supreme Court ruled that employers have the right to give job preference to union-represented employees who either do not participate in a strike or return to work before the strike ends. This means that these employees may have job precedence over longer seniority employees who stay out the entire strike period.

The case was initiated by the Independent Federation of Flight Attendants on behalf of its members who did not regain their jobs after an unsuccessful 1986 strike against Trans World Airlines (TWA). To maintain operations, TWA hired 2,350 replacement workers and used 1,300 members of the union who did not strike or who returned to work after the stoppage started. At the end of the 72-day stoppage, TWA refused to give the "full-term" strikers job preference, and some were never rehired. More than 1,100 of them were eventually rehired, retaining their seniority, but only as job openings occurred through turnover among the union-represented and nonunion employees on the payroll at the end of the stoppage. …

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