Labor disputes or strikes are costly and risky in relation to the future of any company. This is the point when the company stops to carry out its normal processes, loses it daily profits, and erodes its reputation. During strikes, a company is always at the brink of a total collapse. The management can, therefore, prevent or minimize the effects that a strike has on the company with appropriate management planning. A well-laid protocol to manage such incidences not only protects the future of the company but also protects the personnel involved and corporate assets of the company.
Disputes and strikes always arise in cases of misunderstandings regarding payments, management and working conditions. Upon realization of such complains, a bargaining table is set to establish a common ground on solving the issue at hand. However, such plans at time fail to reach census thus leading to risky situations that might lead to sabotage, damage of assets and injuries. The situation, therefore, needs a well-planned protocol that keeps the problem in a dormant stage and prevents further escalations. Such strike management protocols need early planning before the strike is ongoing. This gives ample time to come up with appropriate measures instead of working under panic when the strike begins. The management of a company along with the owners of the company needs to involve various departments to come up with the solution. Each representative from the security department, operations, human resource, and finance department might bring ideas that could resolve the issue together (Husain, 2008).
Strategic issues that the company must consider before laying out the management plan include timing of the strike, flexibility, union tactics, and spontaneity of the strike. Resolving measures need also to have a share in the plan. Under timing, the company should ensure that the strike management plans are set prior to the occurrence of a strike. Advance planning prevents the union of workers from curtailing options that could resolve such strikes. The management plan ought to be flexible thus having an allowance of changes that counteract the strategies of the striking workers. The plan needs to consider tactics that the union uses to ensure that their strike succeeds. These acts of sabotage might range from staging up of fire accidents to strategies that prevent consensus on the negotiation table. Counteracting the spontaneity of a strike is vital in the prevention of impromptu damages of the strike. A company should never solve a possible strike the same way it solved a previous strike. This ensures that the unions do not have a clue on the tactics that the management would deploy to solve any crisis at hand. Upon lying of these preventive strategies, the company needs to include resolution measures into its plan. These measures ensure the strike ends or the union resolves to lower their demands (Waidelich, 1998).
A strike or dispute management plan contains six steps or protocols that successfully counteract the effects of a strike. These strategies ensure the security of both the physical premises and the personnel who do not take part in the strike. The plan also ought to ensure that other services such as delivery of products to customers goes on thus not affecting the consumers. The first component of the plan is a strategy that protects the business relations of the company. The company ensures that various stakeholders who indirectly depend on the services of the company get information on the way forward pending the strike. Such stakeholders include distributors and consumers. Information passed across includes whether the distribution of the products should continue and whether the client should expect any disruptions in supply. In case of disruption in supply, the company might recommend a different supplier to its clients thus keeping its customers for the future. A company that presents such essential information to its stakeholders keeps a reputation that will ensure the positive business relations of the company persists after the strike.
The next step in the protocol is a measure that protects the physical assets of the company from malicious destruction. These measures include clearing of any hideouts around the premises that might harbor goons and explosives. Strict measures of preventing strangers need enforcement using anti-trespassing signs. When the strike starts, power backups need installation just in case the union attempts to use blackouts in their measures. The company should also add bulbs to dark areas. Padlocks on sensitive areas need replacements to prevent any access from suspected personnel. Temporary workers such as drivers and a different security personnel should be employed and take over the company at the time of the strike. Such temporary personnel need maximum protection since the striking personnel would try to prevent such workers from running the company (Nelson Mandela Bay, 2011).
Personnel protection is the next step in the plan. This protection concentrates most when non-striking members and other stakeholders are leaving or entering the company. The company needs exceptional services from anti-riot police to manage such security when transporting workers in and out of the company. A company’s transport vehicles are risky to use at such a time. Use of public means is appropriate. Offices that have windows facing the street need an immediate evacuation. Senior company personnel who are not on strike need cameras and tape recorders while outside the company. In case of harassment and violence directed to such personnel, picture, and video evidence is essential for the police to issue warrants of arrests to the culprits. This helps in calming down the strike for fear of possible arrests.
Communication plans include introduction of rapid and fast communication technology that are not vulnerable to sabotage. The plan needs further measures to maintain in case of sabotage. Such devices reliable for a strike include cellular phones and loudspeakers. A different telephone line is necessary in case the union decides to keep the company line busy as a means of disrupting communication. When using radio calls, unique codes are necessary in ensuring the union does not understand the information in case of a hack in the line. Any meeting that takes place during the strike needs to occur in a clean, empty room to ensure that no transmitters implanted by the union are in existence.
Computer security is also vital and needs attention on the management plan. This ensures that the company’s network and technical data are under the protection from malicious acts. Any activities of data processing need relocation from the site of the strike. A company should change access codes of its system or shut it down until the strike ends (Mills, 1994.).
A plan that considers the striking employees’ needs is equally vital. This move tries to create a friendly atmosphere as the strike continues. This does not necessarily involve the provision of friendly services but the omission of services that might bring controversy. An example is relocating medical services from the site of the strike. Treating victims away from the strike reduces tension thus helping calm down the strike. Other tricks included allowing the striking personnel to access the premises but under strict security. This makes them fell accepted (Sunoo, 1995).
Environmental management is another vital area that is on target by striking workers. Examples of environmental sabotage include damages on sewer pipes and toxic chemicals that the company uses in a bid to tarnish its reputation. Such areas need protection with a new security system. Finally, legal measures are vital to ensure those who break the law or cause damages to the company are liable for their acts. This ensures that the company is in a position to restate damaged system without attaining significant amount of loss (Waidelich, 1998).
In conclusion, plans laid in this paper protect the company, its workers, and its reputation in case of a strike. However, measures that prevent an occurrence of a strike are better than counteractive measures of a proceeding strike. Setting up a culture of consensus and understanding between a company and its workers is effective in preventing strikes.