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When Workers Go on Strike

Published:  November 10, 2014

Photograph courtesy of The Daily Hampshire Gazette.

One picketer reportedly jumped onto the hood of a car as it was leaving Country Nissan in Hadley, where a group of auto technicians and car detailers went on strike after labor negotiations broke down, which prompted police involvement.  Reports also indicate that another car leaving the dealership and a picketer’s path collided.  This recent event serves as a good reminder to unionized employers that they should be prepared to weather the storms of a strike if labor negotiations go south.  

Unionized employers can plan ahead to minimize work disruptions by developing a detailed contingency plan.  Such a plan can put your business in a better position to maintain productivity and keep operations running smoothly in the event of a strike.  The plan should address issues such as scheduling, communications with union and non-union employees, maintaining relationships with customers and third party suppliers and vendors, and safety.  In addition, management should be trained on how to implement this plan and what they can and cannot say or do during a strike. 

As is evident from the recent strike at Country Nissan, emotions can run high.  It is important to remember that at the end of the strike, management, union, and non-union employees still have to work together.  A contingency plan can also help maintain working relationships once the strike is over. 

If you have any questions regarding how to handle a labor strike or create a plan to prepare for a strike, please contact any of the attorneys at Royal LLP at (413) 586-2288.