Federal Law > Unions > Guidelines for Employers Anticipating Labor Disputes

Guidelines for Employers Anticipating Labor Disputes



1. Pursue a "business as usual" attitude by avoiding any incidents with the striking employees.

2. Designate a company representative to handle media inquiries.

3. Stockpile company product or work overtime to produce services to assist in "waiting out" the strike.

4. Notify any suppliers and deliver entities about the potential for a labor dispute and ascertain their positions. If they refuse to cross picket lines, other vendors should be procured. Give such vendors appropriate telephone numbers for communication with the company. Arrange for off site pick up.

5. Establish residential phone numbers for firm management and employee lists with "pyramid phone tree" calling techniques to arrange the details of employment.

6. Establish alternative pick-up and delivery points for company products and supplies. Inform vendors and management personnel of the rotating schedule for these pick-up points.

7. Contact security services to oversee the companies facilities and grounds. Insure that these investigative services have monitoring devices and good personnel to provide adequate and effective security and evidence in the event ULP's are filed.

8. Arrange for employee pick-ups at various locations to enable new labor personnel to enter the plant facility via a pre-arranged meeting place. Work force convoys are helpful.

9. Criminal statutes should be consulted and legal counsel should be available to company personnel and security services to assist in the evidentiary process.

10. Company equipment and vehicles should be properly obscured from the view and access of striking employees.

11. Unlisted phone numbers and communication techniques may be necessary depending upon the level of emotion displayed in the picketing.

12. Immediately issue paychecks for all earned compensation and accrued benefits to striking employees including insurance cutoffs with certified correspondence outlining appropriate rights of insurance conversion. Employees should also be advised to pick up personnel items at a specified location as the company cannot be responsible for lost or missing items.

13. Contact your state unemployment agency immediately after the strike commenced to notify the agency of the ineligibility of the striking employees.

14. Arrange to secure a pool of qualified labor applicants. Pay particular attention to accessible and available "friends" of the company to enable a smoother transition.

15. Prepare a comprehensive list of available police and security personnel. Notify appropriate police department heads of the inception of the strike and the necessity for close communication between the company and the police department.

16. Have company draft appropriate telegrams to unions and police department concerning establishment of separate gates with clarity concerning eligible entrances at each gate. Such notices should be mailed to appropriate union locals as well.

17. Replacement employees should be given written confirmation of their status as permanent replacements as defined under federal labor law with a signature of the employee acknowledging his/her hiring status.

18. While notifying the striking employees of the termination of their benefits and wages, great care should be taken to insure that they are not informed that they have been terminated. Discharging a striker will produce conversion of an economic strike to a ULP if strikers are terminated rather than permanently replaced.

19. After permanently replacing striking employees, unconditional offers to return will be accepted by the employer for positions which have not been permanently filled (economic strike).

20. Correspondence should be directed to the union indicating that strike misconduct is not condoned and the company will take appropriate action against striker picket line misconduct including disciplinary action against striking employees.

21. Striking employees who wish to return to work and cross the picket line may be instructed to send correspondence to the union.

22. Any employees engaging in wrongful picket line misconduct should be notified immediately by telegram of their suspension pending advisability of discharge. Specifics relating to the acts in which they have been engaged in should be listed briefly.

23. Comprehensive forms should be drafted for company security personnel to report acts of misconduct, including the time, date, agency, manner in which entrances were blocked, etc.

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