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The labour relations system in the US is often characterized by its exceptionalism from other national systems. The US is the paradigmatic liberal market economy, with weakly regulated labour markets, poorly institutionalized unions, and an attenuated voice for labour in the political realm. Even as other English speaking countries have moved towards models emphasizing decentralized private economic ordering with a more limited role for collective bargaining and an emphasis on employment law as providing minimum standards, the US has retained its distinctiveness compared to other countries following this Anglo-American model due to its strongly pro-employer and weak labour approach. Strike law provides one of the signature elements of the American employer-favourable model of labour law. The Wagner Act model of labour law in the US establishes the strike as the primary mechanism for resolving bargaining impasses and explicitly recognizes the right to strike. Some of the limitations on the right to strike in US labour law, such as the ban on secondary boycotts, parallel provisions found in the labour laws of other countries. Where American strike law diverges from other countries is in its much more pro-employer treatment of strike breakers or replacement workers.


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Colvin, A. J. S. (2016). Strike ballot law and practice in the United States: Order without law in labour relations? Australian Journal of Labour Law, 29(2), 243-255.

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