Today in Labor History: May 14
Milwaukee brewery workers begin 10-week strike, demanding contracts comparable to East and West Coast workers. The strike was won because Blatz Brewery accepts their demands, but Blatz was ousted from the Brewers Association for “unethical” business methods – 1953
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Member Tip: What Happens if the Parties Deadlock In a Contract Negotiation?
If a tentative contract is voted down by the members, what next? Sometimes, the two sides will return to the bargaining table and try again to work out an acceptable deal. But sometimes they won’t go back to negotiating, and a deadlock results. When this happens, a variety of mechanisms may kick in to determine the outcome. Sometimes, the parties call in a mediator, who is a neutral labor professional who works with both sides, to try to find areas of acceptable compromise. If common ground can’t be found, the union can call a strike in the hope that the employer’s loss of production or ability to provide services to customers will force a softening of its bargaining position. On the employer side of the equation, it may seek to turn up the heat by closing the facility and “locking out” the workers, thereby cutting off their paychecks. Historically, disputes that develop this way have been resolved when one side or the other feels pressured enough to make additional compromises in order to reach an agreement.
—Adapted from The Union Member’s Complete Guide, by Michael Mauer