Was the strike legal?
The strike was illegal because the bargaining agreement expired on May 31st, 2011 yet they went on strike on June 1st, 2011. By this date, the bargaining agreement had expired and there existed no base for argument at the time.
What are the arguments that the 10 strike replacements will make? Were their terminations legal? Will the Union represent the 10 strike replacements? Are their grievances permitted? What is Ironsteel's argument in rebuttal?
The signing of a contract immediately creates a legal relationship. When the replacement workers came into the company, they became part of the bargaining agreement that was signed on July 15th together with the striking employees. Because of this, they even paid their dues to the union. Therefore, they could use this to argue that they were wrongfully terminated.
Their termination was legal because they had a binding contract. At the same time, the employees had the right to be given a warning if they made a mistake or a notice before being dismissed. Yes, the union will represent the 10 strike replacements because the agreement signed between the company and the union also included them. They were represented by the union as well because they had paid their dues to the union (Dannin&Lofaso, 2007).
According to the employees' rights, an adequate warning must be given when the employee makes a mistake. In this regard, there is nowhere indicating that they were dismissed because of a mistake. Their grievances were therefore permitted. However, Ironsteel could argue that since the union refused to endorse paragraph two of the agreement, it is not enforceable (Norelli, 2008). Consequently, the positions were open and the striking employees could still return to their positions. The company could also argue that according to the agreement signed on July 15th, 2011, the striking employees would come back to work in the same positions they occupied by May 31st, 2011. Considering the two paragraphs, the company could argue that the termination of the 10 strike replacements was legal and justified (Hanna & Portman, 2012).
What are the arguments that the Union will make on behalf of the 12 highest paid strikers? Were their terminations legal? What is Ironsteel's argument in rebuttal?
When representing the 12 highest paid strikers on July 17th, the union could argue that the terminations were illegal. First, the company is bound by the bargaining agreement they had. The Strike Settlement Agreement signed on the 15th of July. The strike was already off and so terminating the employees based on it was illegal.
The terminations were illegal and unfair and therefore the employees will need to be given some form of compensation. If they choose to come back to the same positions, they could as well ask for more pay because they will be reapplying for the positions again. It will not be a matter of taking back their positions as stipulated in the agreement. In this regard, their terminations were illegal and unacceptable (Minchin, 2012). The company could argue that based on the Strike Settlement Agreement according to the agreement, "the collective bargaining agreement shall determine the order of return to work". The company thus reserves the right to hire back the striking workers as they please.
Dannin, E., and Lofaso, A.M. (2007). NLRB General Counsel seeks tougher remedies in first contract bargaining cases. Labor Law Journal, 58(3),203-209.
Hanna, W.M., and Portman, K. (2012). Public sector bargaining: Movingtowards an uncertain future. State & Local Law News, (35)4.
Minchin, T.J. (2012). Shutting down 'Big Brown': reassessing the 1997 UPSstrike and the fate of American labor. Labor History, 53(4), 541-560.
Norelli, J.P. (2008). Replacements: Time for a new look? Labor Lawyer, 24(1), 97-107.
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