IBEW Local 45
6350 Laurel Canyon Blvd., Ste. 350
North Hollywood, CA 91606
Phone: 323.851.5515
Fax: 323.466.1793
info@ibew45.org

About Us: Unions & Strikes

What is a Strike?

A strike is the legal right of employees to withhold their labor to convince the employer to meet needs expressed by the employees. A strike is the last resort to any difference between employers and workers. To union members, a strike means sacrifice for themselves and their families. They will not vote to go on strike unless the issues involved are so great they are worth the sacrifice.

Who calls a strike?

It is a myth that strikes are called by union leadership. The IBEW's policy is that only the workers involved can make the decision to go on strike, and only then by a majority vote as determined by the workers themselves. Organized employees know that the decision to strike has economic impacts on both the employees and the employer.

What is the IBEW's position concerning strikes?

The IBEW prefers arbitration and mediation to strikes.

  1. It is the policy of the IBEW "to settle all disputes between employers and employees by arbitration (if possible)". The IBEW seeks to exhaust every alternative to a strike. Further, it is a matter of policy that "no local union shall cause or allow a stoppage of work in any controversy of a general nature before obtaining the consent of the International President."[1]
  2. This is for good purpose. The members of the IBEW know that impartial, independent review of the facts concerning a proposed work stoppage is necessary before emotions concerning any issue prevail. This is why our Constitution provides for impartial investigation by the International President before any strike action is permitted.[2]

How frequent are strikes?

Not frequent at all. Statistics bear this out. Less that 1/10 of 1 percent of work time is lost to strikes with employers involving 1,000 or more workers.[3] Further, in 98 percent of all collective bargaining negotiations, agreements are reached without a strike.[4]

Are strikes really necessary?

No. The IBEW believes that if employers and workers can discuss issues in an atmosphere of mutual respect and concern, strikes should not occur. Unfortunately, emotions and philosophies sometimes overcome simple logic. We strive to promote the ideals of common-sense approaches with employers to address employee concerns.

The IBEW prefers mutually beneficial relationships with employers to strikes.

  1. IBEW Constitution, Objects of the IBEW. ^
  2. IBEW Constitution, Article 16, Section 12 ^
  3. Source - U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, figures for calendar year 1992. Since 1953, the percentage has never exceeded 0.20 percent, which occurred in 1956. ^
  4. Source - U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. ^