Labor Law–Boycotts and Strikes–Replaced Economic Strikers Who Apply for Reinstatement Remain Employees and Are Entitled to Reinstatement When Positions Become Available–Laidlaw Corporation and Local 681, International Brotherhood of Pulp, Sulphite, and Paper Mill Workers, AFL-CIO
The collective bargaining agreement between the Laidlaw Corporation and Local 681 of the International Brotherhood of Pulp, Sulphite, and Paper Mill Workers, the certified bargaining agent for Laidlaw’s employees, contained a provision for modification of wages during the term of the contract. In October 1965, the union notified the company that, pursuant to this provision, it desired to negotiate a wage increase. On January 10, 1966, after two unproductive bargaining sessions, the union voted to reject Laidlaw’s only offer, and two days later approximately seventy employees went on strike. When no settlement was reached by February 11, forty of the strikers came to Laidlaw’s plant and presented written applications to the company offering to return to work immediately and unconditionally. However, by then all but five of the workers’ jobs had been taken by replacements, and with respect to the replaced workers, the request was denied. Subsequently the five workers who had not been replaced were offered jobs. Between February 11 and 21, sixteen employees who had not been present at the February 11 meeting made ·written applications for reinstatement, but Laidlaw rehired only those for whom vacancies existed at the time their applications were filed. The company made no attempt to fill subsequent job openings with the strikers who had been refused employment when no jobs were available on the day they applied. Instead, it filled these later vacancies by advertising for and hiring new employees. As a result of the company’s actions, the union renewed its strike on February 20. It also brought suit before the National Labor Relations Board, alleging that the company’s hiring policy constituted an unfair labor practice under sections 8(a)(I) and 8(a)(3) of the National Labor Relations Act by interfering with the employees’ rights, guaranteed by the Act, of organization, collective bargaining, and striking, and by discriminating with regard to hire or tenure of employment in order to discourage membership in the union.