AskDefine | Define struck

Dictionary Definition



1 a group's refusal to work in protest against low pay or bad work conditions; "the strike lasted more than a month before it was settled" [syn: work stoppage]
2 an attack that is intended to seize or inflict damage on or destroy an objective; "the strike was scheduled to begin at dawn"
3 a pitch that is in the strike zone and that the batter does not hit; "this pitcher throws more strikes than balls"
4 a gentle blow [syn: rap, tap]
5 a score in tenpins: knocking down all ten with the first ball; "he finished with three strikes in the tenth frame" [syn: ten-strike]
6 a conspicuous success; "that song was his first hit and marked the beginning of his career"; "that new Broadway show is a real smasher"; "the party went with a bang" [syn: hit, smash, smasher, bang]


1 hit against; come into sudden contact with; "The car hit a tree"; "He struck the table with his elbow" [syn: hit, impinge on, run into, collide with] [ant: miss]
2 deliver a sharp blow, as with the hand, fist, or weapon; "The teacher struck the child"; "the opponent refused to strike"; "The boxer struck the attacker dead"
3 have an emotional or cognitive impact upon; "This child impressed me as unusually mature"; "This behavior struck me as odd" [syn: affect, impress, move]
4 make a strategic, offensive, assault against an enemy, opponent, or a target; "The Germans struck Poland on Sept. 1, 1939"; "We must strike the enemy's oil fields"; "in the fifth inning, the Giants struck, sending three runners home to win the game 5 to 2" [syn: hit]
5 indicate (a certain time) by striking; "The clock struck midnight"; "Just when I entered, the clock struck"
6 affect or afflict suddenly, usually adversely; "We were hit by really bad weather"; "He was stricken with cancer when he was still a teenager"; "The earthquake struck at midnight" [syn: hit]
7 stop work in order to press demands; "The auto workers are striking for higher wages"; "The employees walked out when their demand for better benefits was not met" [syn: walk out]
8 touch or seem as if touching visually or audibly; "Light fell on her face"; "The sun shone on the fields"; "The light struck the golden necklace"; "A strange sound struck my ears" [syn: fall, shine]
9 attain; "The horse finally struck a pace" [syn: come to]
10 produce by manipulating keys or strings of musical instruments, also metaphorically; "The pianist strikes a middle C"; "strike `z' on the keyboard"; "her comments struck a sour note" [syn: hit]
11 cause to form between electrodes of an arc lamp; "strike an arc"
12 find unexpectedly; "the archeologists chanced upon an old tomb"; "she struck a goldmine"; "The hikers finally struck the main path to the lake" [syn: fall upon, come upon, light upon, chance upon, come across, chance on, happen upon, attain, discover]
13 produce by ignition or a blow; "strike fire from the flintstone"; "strike a match"
14 remove by erasing or crossing out; "Please strike this remark from the record" [syn: expunge, excise]
15 cause to experience suddenly; "Panic struck me"; "An interesting idea hit her"; "A thought came to me"; "The thought struck terror in our minds"; "They were struck with fear" [syn: hit, come to]
16 drive something violently into a location; "he hit his fist on the table"; "she struck her head on the low ceiling" [syn: hit]
17 occupy or take on; "He assumes the lotus position"; "She took her seat on the stage"; "We took our seats in the orchestra"; "She took up her position behind the tree"; "strike a pose" [syn: assume, take, take up]
18 form by stamping, punching, or printing; "strike coins"; "strike a medal" [syn: mint, coin]
19 smooth with a strickle; "strickle the grain in the measure" [syn: strickle]
20 pierce with force; "The bullet struck her thigh"; "The icy wind struck through our coats"
21 arrive at after reckoning, deliberating, and weighing; "strike a balance"; "strike a bargain" [also: struck]struck adj : (used in combination) affected by something overwhelming; "conscience-smitten"; "awe-struck" [syn: smitten, stricken]struck See strike

User Contributed Dictionary



  • /'stɻʌk/
  • Rhymes: -ʌk


  1. past of strike (delete)
  2. past of strike (hit)


hit - past tense
hit - past participle

Extensive Definition

A strikebreaker (also called scab or knobstick) is a person who works despite an ongoing strike. Strikebreakers are usually individuals who are not employed by the company prior to the trade union dispute, but rather hired prior to or during the strike to keep production or services going. Strikebreakers may also be workers who cross picket lines and keep working.
Strikebreakers are a worldwide phenomenon, occurring wherever workers go on strike or engage in job actions which slow down or stop the delivery of goods and/or services. However, strikebreakers are used far more frequently in the United States than in any other industrialized country.

International law

The European Social Charter of 1961 was the first international agreement to expressly protect the right to strike. However, the European Union's Community Charter of the Fundamental Social Rights of Workers permits EU member states to infringe on the right to strike.
The right to strike is not expressly mentioned in any convention of the International Labor Organization (ILO).
The ILO Committee on Freedom of Association and other ILO bodies have, however, interpreted all core ILO conventions as protecting the right to strike as an essential element of the freedom of association. For example, the ILO has ruled that "the right to strike is an intrinsic corollary of the right of association protected by Convention No. 87."
The ILO has also concluded striker replacement, while not in contravention of ILO agreements, carries with it significant risks for abuse and places trade union freedoms "in grave jeopardy."

National laws

In Mexico, federal law requires companies to cease operations during a legal strike, effectively preventing the use of strikebreakers.
Although German employment law strongly protects worker rights, trade unions and the right to strike are not regulated by statute. The Bundesarbeitsgericht (the Federal Labor Court of Germany) and Bundesverfassungsgericht (the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany) have, however, issued a large number of rulings which essentially regulate trade union activities such as strikes. Work councils, for example, may not strike at all, while trade unions retain an almost unlimited ability to strike. The widespread use of work councils, however, channels most labor disputes and reduces the likelihood of strikes. Recent efforts to enact a comprehensive federal labor relations law which regulates strikes, lockouts and the use of strikebreakers failed.
In the United States, the National Labor Relations Act appears to bar strikebreakers as an interference in the right to strike. However, the U.S. Supreme Court held in NLRB v. Mackay Radio & Telegraph Co., 304 U.S. 333 (1938) that an employer may not discriminate on the basis of union activity in reinstating employees at the end of a strike. The ruling effectively encourages employers to hire strikebreakers, so that the union loses majority support in the workplace when the strike ends. The Mackay Court also held that employers enjoy the unrestricted right to permanently replace strikers with strikebreakers.
In Canada, however, federal industrial relations laws strongly regulate the use of strikebreakers. Although many Canadian labor unions today advocate for even stronger regulations, scholars point out that Canadian labor law provides far greater protections for union members and the right to strike than American labor law (which has significantly influenced the development of labor relations north of the border). In Quebec, the use of strikebreakers is banned, and companies may only attempt to remain open using managerial personnel. Japanese labor law significantly restricts both an employer's and a union's ability to engage in labor disputes. Japanese labor law highly regulates labor relations to ensure labor peace and channel conflict into collective bargaining, mediation and arbitration. Japanese labor law bans the use of strikebreakers.


Strikebreakers are also known by the derogatory term "scab."
In the early 20th century, strikebreaking was known as "black-legging"—a term borrowed from the Russian socialist movement.



  • Committee on Freedom of Association. International Labor Organization. Digest of Decisions of the Committee on Freedom of Association. 5th (revised) ed. Geneva: International Labor Organization, 2006.
  • Dau-Schmidt, Kenneth Glenn. "Labor Law and Industrial Peace: A Comparative Analysis of the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Japan Under the Bargaining Model." Tulane Journal of International & Comparative Law. 2000.
  • Ewing, Keith. "Laws Against Strikes Revisited." In Future of Labour Law. Catharine Barnard, Gillian S. Morris, and Simon Deakin, eds. Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2004. ISBN 9781841134048
  • Getman, Julius G. and Kohler, Thomas C. "The Story of NLRB v. Mackay Radio & Telegraph Co.: The High Cost of Solidarity." In Labor Law Stories. Laura J. Cooper and Catherine L. Fisk, eds. New York: Foundation Press, 2005. ISBN1587788756
  • Human Rights Watch. Unfair Advantage: Workers' Freedom of Association in the United States Under International Human Rights Standards. Washington, D.C.: Human Rights Watch, 2000. ISBN 1564322513
  • International Labor Organization. Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining: General Survey of the Reports on the Freedom of Association and the Right to Organise Convention (No. 87), 1948, and the Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention (no. 98), 1949. Geneva: International Labor Organization, 1994.
  • Körner, Marita. "German Labor Law in Transition." German Law Journal. 6:4 (April 2005).
  • Logan, John. "How 'Anti-Union' Laws Saved Canadian Labour: Certification and Striker Replacements in Post-War Industrial Relations." Relations Industrielles/Industrial Relations. 57:1 (January 2002).
  • Norwood, Stephen H. Strikebreaking and Intimidation. Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press, 2002. ISBN 0807827053
  • Parry, Richard Lloyd. "Labour Law Draws Roar of Rage From Asian Tiger." The Independent. January 18, 1997.
  • Silver, Beverly J. Forces of Labor: Workers' Movements and Globalization Since 1870. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003. ISBN 0521520770
  • Smith, Robert Michael. From Blackjacks to Briefcases: A History of Commercialized Strikebreaking and Unionbusting in the United States. Athens, Ohio: Ohio University Press, 2003. ISBN 0821414658
  • Smith, Stephanie. Household Words: Bloomers, Sucker, Bombshell, Scab, Nigger, Cyber. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2006. ISBN 0816645531
  • Sugeno, Kazuo and Kanowitz, Leo. Japanese Employment and Labor Law. Durham, N.C.: Carolina Academic Press, 2002. ISBN 0890896119
  • Westfall, David and Thusing, Gregor. "Strikes and Lockouts in Germany and Under Federal Legislation in the United States: A Comparative Analysis." Boston College International & Comparative Law Review. 22 (1999).
struck in Czech: Stávkokaz
struck in Danish: Skruebrækker
struck in German: Streikbrecher
struck in Spanish: Esquirol
struck in Russian: Штрейкбрехер
struck in Chinese: 工賊
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