That's What She Said

The Strike Continues

Well, the strike of the writers’ union continues.  I don’t do that much traditional labor work so I’ve asked my colleague, Jerry Coker, to help me out as he is the firm guru on all things traditional labor.  He is also a huge fan of the show.  Here is what Jerry had to say:

Nothing too funny about a strike.  Not to the writers, their families (strikers don’t get paychecks), and not for the fans of Dundler Mifflin, a fictional paper company in Scranton, Pennsylvania.   And certainly not to those employers who are trying to cope with one.  Federal law – the National Labor Relations Act – gives employees the right to strike in order to try and pressure their employer into agreeing with their union’s demands.  But what a lot of people don’t know is that companies have legal rights too (perish the thought!).  Seriously, an employer can hire replacement workers and – get this – can hire permanent replacements for economic strikers.  Sometimes the difference between a successful strike and one that’s a bust is whether the employer is in a position to actually hire replacements.  And – no surprise here – the more skilled the workers, the harder they can be to replace.  Like, for instance, talented Hollywood screenwriters……

Unions also hope that people do things like “respect the picket line” or “show solidarity.”  That’s when an actor or talk show host joins the writers on the picket line.  Like Rainn Wilson.  Or Steve Carrell.  But that is a topic for another week.  Well, unless the strike ends.