What is an Official Strike?

An official strike, also called an 'official industrial action,' is a work stoppage by a union.

How Does an Official Strike Work?

For example, let's say that the unionized workers at a company feel that they are underpaid. They have a meeting, and the union members vote to institute an official strike. They cease going to work, opting instead to picket outside the company until the management meets their demands.

Why Does an Official Strike Matter?

Official strikes are negotiating tactics with legal protections for striking workers. They are very controversial because in some cases, an official strike can force the parties to negotiate more in earnest. However, in other cases (as with Twinkies maker Hostess Brands, for example), a strike can be the final blow and put a company (and all of its workers) out of business.