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Keeping violence and vandalism out of labor conflicts

By: Yannick Drapeau
March 18, 2014

When labor disputes arise, highly effective tactic by workers is disrupting a company’s business operations. How that disruption is done, however, can sometimes go beyond walkouts and boycotts.

Striking workers, for example, can threaten and even harm a company’s customers and suppliers, as well as its executives, managers, supervisors and non-striking employees. They can also sabotage or vandalize a company’s property, including facilities, machinery and inventories, whether feedstocks, work-in-progress or finished goods.

GardaWorld Protective Services can help businesses of all sizes and across all industry sectors guard against potential threats to people and property that might often accompany labor disputes:

  • Crisis management planning – We advise about the safety, security and emergency measures that need to be taken when company activities are disrupted, if not before they occur. For example, we can help find ways to ensure business continuity; to provide access to premises for non-union employees; to secure the continuity of product distribution; and to safeguard facility access by suppliers, messengers and customers.

  • Pre-event directives and procedures – These cover all aspects of assigning responsibilities, availabilities and access to facilities for non-striking management and workers, along with the protocols in how to handle specific situations, including appropriate escalations if necessary. This also includes identifying individuals and situations that could provoke potential trouble and logistics to be observed.

  • Quick response – We are uniquely able to provide a strong, highly trained contingent of security professionals, such as strike officers, supervisory teams or tight-security teams, for the timely and proper handling of labor conflicts.

Some labor disputes can result from workers or unions protesting a company downsizing or facility closure. In cases like these, we can help management in the following ways:

  • Pre-event assessment and planning – Given on our experience in these matters, better decisions about the best approach for informing the workforce can be made. Topics include: security measures required leading up to the announcement; the location and timing of the announcement; whether to address the entire workforce or small groups; network, computer and data security; and insurgence prevention should an event escalate out of control.

  • Workplace non-violence awareness – We can provide your management and non-striking workers with practical advice and tips on how to spot and handle employees who may be planning a disruption. We provide training that exceeds industry standards that can enable your organization to confront any possible workplace situation.

  • Facility security – We can fully address the safety and security of facilities before, during and after a downsizing or closing. For example, we can oversee the removal of company property and departure of personnel, providing security escorts as warranted. GardaWorld’s security professionals can protect the vehicles and other property of company executives and non-striking employees, thus safeguarding their safe and orderly entry and departure from the premises.

  • High-risk termination – When a company feels the need to downsize its workforce, we can provide management with a full risk assessment, followed by recommendations as to the best way to proceed. When necessary, we provide executives with assistance and even specialized security services.

  • Post-downsizing support – The reason for this service is to bring management peace of mind by reducing the risk of vandalism or sabotage to company property and equipment.

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Labor conflicts present companies with numerous challenges and risks. Our security professionals, who specialize in this area, are constantly upgrading the strategies they use to help minimize risks to people’s safety and to the company’s facilities and equipment through violence and vandalism. Ultimately such mitigation measures can also help to minimize damage to a company’s reputation and brand through peaceful resolutions and keeping the events around a labor dispute out of the news.