Legislative Memo

T 518.465.7511


S.6489-A (Marcellino)



UI waiting period for strikers



January 22, 2008


This bill would amend the Labor law and waive the seven week unemployment insurance waiting period for striking workers if permanent replacement workers are hired. The Business Council opposes enactment of this legislation.

Upsetting the balance
Employers, unions and their members understand that there are consequences to allowing negotiations to fail leading in some cases to a strike. This is why there are so few strikes.

When there are strikes, however, both parties are pressured by economic factors to settle as soon as possible. For the employers, business is disrupte and loss of business may occur. For employees, lost wages and employment are the sacrifices they face. It is these balanced pressures on both parties that eventually result in the settlement of the disagreement and an end to the strike.

This legislation upsets that balance and eliminates an economic consequence of striking. The could only encourage more strikes.

Increased costs
Employers already subsidize strikes because New York law authorizes unemployment insurance benefits to strikers. This legislation simply expands the current subsidy provided by New York State employers. It also creates a new “certification” requirement for employers and unnecessary penalties if an employer who intended to bring employees back after the strike is forced to permanently replace them.

This hardly makes New York State more appealing to new businesses and the expansion of existing businesses.

For these reasons, The Business Council opposes this legislation and respectfully urges that it not be enacted.