Can striking workers be fired for not working?

If I’m a business owner and my workers go on strike can I fire them for not showing up for their shifts?

What state are you in?

Maybe yes or no, call your state bar association and ask for an attorney specializing in labor law.

Is your business a Union or a Non-Union shop? If it it not a union shop yes you can fire them. If it is a union shop it depends on the contract you have with the union, but in most instaces no you can not fire them.

The National Labor Relations Act of 1935 (the Wagner Act) says no, IIRC.


Just to be clear I’m not a business owner and this is purely hypothetical. PA.

In absence of a specific labor contract your employees are deemed “workers at will”

What this means is you can fire them without notice, BUT and here is what most employers forget they can’t quit at will without notice too.

And you can fire anyone for any reason unless it is specifically illegal. For example I can’t fire you because you’re an African American. But I can fire all the employees that were size 13 shoes. Because there is not law that says people who wear size 13 shoe is a protect class.

Government employees at State and Federal Level generally have a few more laws to deal with than employers in the private sector.

But unionized employees are only protected provided they strike WITH authorization from their union. Lacking this authorization it’s called a wild cat strike and they are not protected by their union contract.

No, I think that is wrong as well, generally in an “at will” state, ER can fire, EE can quit without notice either way, except under specific circumstances.