How a Union Strike Could Affect You

If Team Members at HMMA decide they wish to be represented by a union, there is the possibility that you could end up out on strike in the future.

When a labor union believes they are not getting what they want in the collective bargaining process, they can call for a strike. A majority vote of union members then determines whether the workers continue to work (and get paid) or go out on strike.

Some union members have found out the hard way that even if you are opposed to the strike, it can affect your life in many ways.

When union members are put on the picket line they find out first hand just what they’re risking during an economic strike:

  •  Paychecks from the company may stop.
  •  Strikers may have to pay the entire premium for any medical insurance policies.
  •  Economic strikers don’t qualify for unemployment in many states.
  •  In some cases, permanent replacements are hired to take the place of striking workers. While the striker does go on a preferential recall list, the replacement worker is under no obligation to give up the job when the strike is over.
  • Possible loss of customers from strike may later impact employee’s job security.

Once a strike is initiated, there are no guaranteed outcomes. Almost anything can happen.

You could be out on strike for weeks or months. Some unions have a strike fund that allows them to pay workers a fraction of their normal wages. But strike funds can become depleted if the strike drags on long enough.

Most strikes are eventually ended, once the union and the company come to an agreement. However, there are no time limits. The longest strike in U.S. history lasted 11 years. The Kohler strike became a long and bitter battle.

And if your union is on strike and you speak out against the strike action, you could be subject to disciplinary action from the union–including expensive fines up to thousands of dollars.

Something to think about before you sign a union card (or e-card).