How to Strike

One of the most powerful actions you can take with your coworkers is to go on strike. For most workers, it is illegal for your boss to fire you for going on strike. But strikes can lose protection if you miss work to protest non-work issues. Be sure to make it clear to your boss that you are on strike to protest a problem at your job.

If you work in the private sector, you are likely part of the majority of workers who have rights under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) can’t be fired for taking part in protected strike actions – but you have to take certain steps (outlined below) to make sure you’re safe. If you’re a public worker or healthcare worker or already represented by a union, different rules apply to you, and you should not use the strike notice included here.


  • Notify your boss that you are striking
  • Tell your boss the reasons you are going on strike (see the list below)
  • Deliver a strike notice to your manager
  • Strike over conditions in your workplace
  • Recruit your co-workers to go on strike with you
  • Ask friends, family and supporters to walk you back to work on July 21st

Reasons to strike:

  • To protest racism on the job
  • To protest for higher pay at work
  • To protest against workplace favoritism
  • To protest unsafe working conditions
  • To protest sexual harassment on the job
  • To protest wage theft
  • To protest unfair work scheduling
  • To protest lack of training opportunities
  • To protest the lack of opportunities for promotion and advancement
  • To protest mistreatment and disrespect from management


  • Say you are striking to protest a political issue (IE, strike because of racism/white supremacy/etc. in the world)
  • Criticize your employer’s products or services
  • “Sit-in” or hold an action inside of your workplace
  • Block the entrance or exit of your workplace

Strike Notice:

Complete the Strike Notice based on the directions above. Then save the notice and deliver it to your boss before going on strike.

NOTE: The strike notice should only be used by workers employed by a non-health care, private sector (non-public) employer, who are not already represented by a union.

Once you have filled it out, follow these instructions:

  • Step 1: Complete the strike notice
  • Step 2: Save and deliver the strike notice to your employer;
  • Step 3: Document your delivery of the strike notice so that you have proof that you in fact delivered it; and
  • Step 4: Where applicable, make a walkback plan with your group of coworkers, allies, friends and family.


There is power in numbers and you can show your employer that you won’t be intimidated by showing up with friends, family, coworkers or a clergy person to be a witness when you return to work. Knowing that other people have your back will discourage any attempts at retaliation and is a reminder to the boss that your strike was legally protected activity.

On July 20, 2020 tens of thousands in 160 cities took to the streets to demand Black lives are valued. Join us in continuing to call for justice for Black communities, that elected officials use their authority to rewrite the rules so that Black people can thrive, that corporations dismantle racism, white supremacy and economic exploitation including at work, and that every worker has the opportunity to join a union.

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