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Zack Hutchins
Director of Communications

November 12, 2004

Citing Business Council opposition, Governor vetoes union-backed bill

Citing arguments raised by The Business Council, Governor George Pataki has vetoed a bill that would have prohibited employers granting permanent employment to workers originally hired to replace striking employees.

The Business Council had urged the veto, arguing that the bill would have been preempted by the federal National Labor Relations Act (NRLA).

“Under the National Labor Relations Act, a union has a right to use a strike as an economic weapon to pressure the employer to give concessions to the union,” the Council wrote in an August 23 letter to Richard Platkin, the governor's chief counsel.

“In order to provide some balance and to permit employers to protect their businesses, federal labor law similarly permits an employer to hire permanent replacement workers during a strike. This balance in the collective bargaining process has been in federal law for decades and has worked.”

In his veto message, the Governor acknowledged The Business Council’s concerns, and added the State Department of Labor opposed the bill on the same grounds.

The Governor also wrote that the bill is similar to a statute passed in Minnesota. That statute was struck down by both state and federal courts because “it violated the preemptive doctrine which prohibits enforcement of a state law that conflicts with federal law,” the Governor’s memo said.