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10 Dec 2021

8 Ways to Prepare for a Staff Strike: Plan and Procedure

When employees want changes to occur, going on strike is a powerful way to send a message to their employer. However, going on strike isn’t as easy as it seems. It takes careful planning, and you need to budget carefully in order for the strike to go smoothly. You have to factor in timing, budget, and employee safety. If you know that your company is going to strike, it is a good idea to implement Vancouver security services prior to the strike occurring. In the meantime, here are 8 ways to prepare for a staff strike that includes planning steps and procedures.

1. Talk to your staff members

You can’t strike by yourself, so you need to talk to your employees or other staff members about going on strike. Remember not to discuss details about a strike during your working hours and not at your company’s workplace. It might help to schedule a conference call with the employees who want to go on strike so that the discussion is kept confidential.

2. Contact your union

If your company is unionized, you need to contact them first before going on strike. The union can give you advice on how to plan a strike by going over the requirements it needs to meet in order to gain the union’s approval.

3. Review your collective bargaining agreement

Before planning a strike, it’s important to review your collective bargaining agreement. If there is a stipulation that states a “no-strike” provision, then you won’t be able to go on strike, as it would be deemed illegal and you risk getting fired. If you do not understand the legal jargon in the agreement, contact a labour lawyer who will be able to explain what you can and cannot do when it comes to a strike.

4. Strike for the correct purpose

Going on strike has to serve a specific purpose. Keep in mind that strikes need to abide by the law. The majority of strikes usually involve economic conditions and dissatisfaction about working conditions, wages, benefits, or work times. Moreover, you can also go on strike to protest illegal labour practices that relate to the internal workers. However, you cannot go on strike to force your company to do something illegal.

5. Consider the consequences of a strike

Once you have determined the main purpose of the strike, consider what would happen if your demands were not met. Your employer cannot stop you from striking nor can they fire you, but they could replace you with a new employee. Once the strike ends, they have no legal obligation to hire you back. However, you qualify for getting called back once a job opening becomes vacant. If the strike was about protesting unfair labour practices, then those workers can be reinstated when the strike concludes and are entitled to back pay.

6. Review your strike fund

All strikes require money, so you need to review your strike fund before you begin. When devising a strike budget, include the following expenses: legal costs, publicity, printing fees for signage, food, and transportation assistance for those participating in the strike.

7. Create a clear list of demands

When you and the other employees discuss the main purpose of the strike, you need to come up with a list of demands for what you want changed in your workplace. These demands could be better work conditions, shorter hours, wage increases, or better benefits. When you present this list to your employer, set a deadline for them to reply. A hard deadline could be a couple of weeks or a month. Clearly state that if no reply has been given by the deadline, then you are prepared to go on strike.

8. Divide into teams

Once your demands have been sent, organize the strikers into small groups. Ideally, there should be more than a handful of strikers, so aim for at least a dozen people. You also need to divide the groups into two to three shifts. Remember, you can’t have one group of people picket for eight hours a day. They need to strike for only a few hours at a time. Assign a shift captain who will be responsible for organizing the participants’ shifts to get to the picket line at their scheduled time.

Contact Optimum Security

Preparing for a successful strike takes funding and organized timing. To ensure the safety of all strikers, consider hiring security guards in Vancouver. Here is a recap of the 8 ways on how to prepare for a staff strike:

  • Talk to your staff members. Start planning your strike by talking to other employees or workers in a private setting. Avoid speaking to other staff members about a strike during working hours on the company’s premises.
  • Contact your union. If your company has a union, you need to contact them before you go on strike. The union can go over the requirements to gain their support.
  • Review your collective bargaining agreement. Before going on strike, check if your collective bargaining agreement has a “no-strike” clause. If it does, then you cannot go on strike, as it would be considered illegal. If you do not understand the agreement, contact a labour lawyer.
  • Strike for the correct purpose. Typical purposes to go on strike are for better wages and benefits, shorter hours, and improved working conditions.
  • Consider the consequences of a strike. You cannot get fired for going on strike, but your employer can hire a replacement. Once the strike ends, you are not entitled to be hired back. However, you could get recalled once there is an opening.
  • Review your strike fund. Fill out a budget and outline the following expenses for food, publicity, printing expenses for signage, and transportation costs for those participating in the strike.
  • Create a clear list of demands. This list of demands can include better work conditions, shorter hours, wage increases, or full benefits. Be sure to include a hard deadline for your employer to reply to your demands.
  • Divide into teams. There should be at least three to five strikers, but the more the better. Divide one big group of strikers into two to three teams. Each team can strike for only a few hours at a time.

If you would like more information about our Vancouver security services, call Optimum Security at 604-644-9229 or contact us here.

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