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Fri., 4:24p.m.: Local `scab’ law called unenforceable

March 8, 2013
Tribune Chronicle |

NILES -- Phillips Manufacturing will face no local charges for hiring replacement workers during a work stoppage that started last fall.

Municipal Judge Thomas Townley dismissed the so-called strikebreaker or ``anti-scab'' law last month, calling the measure ``unenforceable.''

It's unclear whether the city will appeal Townley's ruling.

``The issue in this case deals with replacement workers. The United States Supreme Court ruled long ago that employers had the right under the National Labor Relations Act to hire replacement workers during strikes. With that clear pronouncement, a prosecution under a local ordinance banning scab employment is unenforceable,'' Townley said in his decision.

About 44 members of United Steelworkers Local 4564-02 have been on strike since Sept. 13 over what they say are unfair wages, benefits and working conditions. They had been working without a contract since Aug. 9.

Municipal Court Prosecutor Terry Swauger filed the complaint Sept. 28 after the company began hiring replacement workers through an employment agency. Swauger said Friday, Law director Terry Dull would have to decide whether to appeal the decision by Townsley.



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