How to decide your strike security priorities:
If your company has or may become involved in a labor dispute, it pays to know a few things about strike security priorities in the event you are faced with a labor action. A labor strike is considered a full blown crisis for many companies, requiring members of management to come together and activate crisis management and business continuity plans.
If your company finds itself facing a situation where there is potential for a work stoppage, you will want to know what priorities you should be thinking about when it comes to strike security.
All organizations experiencing, or about to experience, a labor dispute should have three strike security priorities:
- Protection of Personnel
- Protection of Assets
- Evidence Collection
I highly recommend hiring a strike security consultant who can guide you through the process and help you address each of the following strike security priorities that have been listed.
Each of the strike security priorities that were listed represents a general strike security service concern that deserves some elaboration.
Personnel Protection is perhaps the most important of strike security priorities. It’s important to remember that although you may be experiencing a strike and many of your employees are out on the picket line, you still have an obligation to provide a safe working environment for those employees, vendors, and contractors who cross the picket line and come to work.
One thing that I urge employers not to take lightly is the potential for their union employees to get “nasty”. I have provided strike security services for numerous companies where the labor dispute management team has been astonished at the level of animosity suddenly being shown by people they have worked with for years. This can be traumatic for non-union employees who are not expecting this type of behavior from “friends”. Anything may be said or done during a strike. Up to, and including, threats and acts of violence toward management and their families.
The second of strike security priorities that any organization should be thinking about is Asset Protection. Equipment damage by union members who are planning to go on strike, or who are already on strike is common. Historically, unions have attempted to increase their bargaining leverage by damaging critical assets in an effort to hinder operations.
One of the first things I do when conducting a strike security risk assessment is ask the operations manager to show me what will shut them down (i.e. which assets or processes can be damaged or hindered to cease operations) so that we can focus our attention on those areas.
The last of the strike security priorities is Evidence Collection and incident documentation. The documentation of all activity and incidents related to the strike is crucial. Proper documentation and evidence collection can assist with a quick and successful resolution to the labor dispute in a variety of ways.
For example, although union members may be engaging in a lawful picketing as a protected activity, they are still company employees and the same protections do not always apply when they engage in behavior that is illegal or that would otherwise be a violation of company policy.
An experienced strike security service consultant and service provider will be familiar with proper incident documentation and evidence collection procedures that can be used in legal
proceedings, if necessary.
If you feel that you may experience a labor dispute its important to get out in front of the problem.
PRMG can help walk you through the process of getting prepared by establishing your specific strike security priorities and providing you the manpower and strike security expertise when you need it.