When is a union permitted to strike?

Author: Irene Stavrellis Englert, Englert Legal Consulting, LLC

A union may lawfully strike for three reasons - to obtain the employer's recognition during organizing activity, to obtain economic improvements and to protest an employer's unfair labor practices- and in the following situations:

  1. There is no collective bargaining agreement in place.
  2. The collective bargaining agreement has expired.
  3. The collective bargaining agreement does not contain a no-strike clause.

An employer may also restrict a union's right to strike by incorporating additional terms in the collective bargaining agreement, such as a clause banning sympathy strikes and one requiring a specified amount of notice before the commencement of a strike.