Trends in the Number of Strikes and Use of Permanent Strike Replacements in the 1980s

T-HRD-90-41: Published: Jun 13, 1990. Publicly Released: Jun 13, 1990.

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GAO discussed the practice of hiring permanent employees to replace striking workers, based on data it obtained from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service and on information it obtained through interviews with employers and union representatives. GAO noted that: (1) the number of strikes in the United States from 1980 through 1989 annually averaged 1,250, about half the annual average number of strikes occurring between 1970 and 1979; (2) although employers announced that they would hire permanent strike replacements in about one-fourth of the reported strikes that occurred in 1985 and 1989, they actually hired permanent replacements in 15 percent of the strikes; and (3) both employers and union representatives believed that permanent replacements were hired less often between 1970 and 1979 than between 1980 and 1989.

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