No. In fact, it is our sincere desire to reach an agreement with the company that will ratify. A strong FOR strike vote will send a message to management that you are solidly behind the Negotiating Committee.
We cannot legally strike until we are released to do so by the National Mediation Board (NMB). There are three steps:
First, the NMB must decide an impasse exists. This has not happened yet. If the NMB determines that further negotiations would be fruitless, they have the power to declare an impasse.
Second, the next step in the process is the NMB’s proffer of arbitration. In this type of arbitration all the remaining open items are submitted to a neutral party for final and binding resolution. Neither the company nor the membership has the ability to agree to or ratify the arbitration decision. Since arbitration is binding, both parties must accept the proffer for the arbitration to proceed. AFA has never accepted a proffer of arbitration.
Third, once arbitration is rejected, a 30-day cooling off period begins if either (or both) party rejects the proffer of arbitration. The union and management are free to engage in self-help at the end of the cooling off period if no agreement has been reached.