Even non-union American workers have the right to strike and take action to try to improve working conditions, and they can't be fired in retaliation.That's why Wal-Mart workers who engaged in lightning strikes are back on the job and still getting paid their pittances. Federal law protects what's called "concerted action" of employees. The National Labor Relations Board offers a guide here.
AOL.com published a must-read guide to employment law. Among some of the things you need to know:
- There is safety in numbers: If you're protesting your own working conditions, you aren't protected against retaliation. However, if you are objecting to something that affects at least one co-worker, or with at least one co-worker, then you may be legally protected.
- "Unfair labor practice strikers" can't be replaced: If your strike is to protest unfair labor practices by your employer, such as retaliating against workers who discuss or protest working conditions, then you must be reinstated to your job when it's over and cannot be permanently replaced.
- Picketing is legal: Picketing your employer to protest working conditions or unfair labor practices is protected, subject to certain limitations. You can't block entrances, bully or threaten people trying to enter (including scabs), or engage in violence, but otherwise it is perfectly legal.