Labor Law – Labor-Management Relations Act – Rights of Replaced “Economic” Strikers Under Section 8 (a)(3)

One hundred and seventy employees of the respondent, predominantly union members, engaged in an “economic” strike. Thirty of them returned during the strike; the others were permanently replaced. After the strike had ceased, the union asked the respondent if it would take back the remaining strikers as soon as possible, to which the respondent replied that it would rehire them when it could. About 100 strikers then applied for employment and 73 were rehired. The remaining strikers caused a complaint to be filed, alleging discrimination in violation of section 8 (a) (3) of the amended National Labor Relations Act. The trial examiner found that the statements of the respondent constituted an “agreement to rehire” entitling the strikers to a preferential status in hiring, the violation of which contravened section 8 (a) (3). Held, complaint dismissed. Permanently replaced economic strikers do not have a preferential status and are in the position of applicants for new employment. Even if the employer made an “agreement to rehire,” this does not affect their status. The burden resting on the Board to prove discrimination against them was not satisfied. In re Bartlett Collins Co., 110 N.L.R.B. No. 58, 35 L.R.R.M. 1006 (1954).