Recently a strike by an auto parts supplier caused the shutdown of the minivan plant in Windsor, Ontario. Was this part of an overall strategy leading up to tough labour talks with the Big 3 in 2012 or a case of union member’s expectations not matching what could be offered. Based on comments in the media by Chrysler’s CEO Sergio Marchionne, it appears labour talks could be challenging. The question is will the union go on strike and risk potential future investment or find a way to secure a new deal. In the past, large automotive firms did not develop large scale contingency plans to stand a work stoppage by union members. Is this about to change? The past has proven that some checks and balances need to be in place for the unions not to find themselves in the same situation they faced in 2008 with the collapse of the industry. Previously management simply avoided large scale work stoppages in favour of reaching a deal. Will 2012 see management take a more aggressive stance to ensure long term sustainability? If a more aggressive stance is going to be considered, contingency planning will be critical to ensure all risks are considered and possible mitigation strategies put in place.
A recent article written by union activists and the Occupy Movement reviewed the outcome of some high profile strikes in Canada in the past few years. The overall theme is that organized labour needs to become more aggressive and radical. Plant occupations, storming of government buildings, and targeting business and political leaders are just a few of the suggestions being made. What does this mean from a security prospective? Is this a return of days gone by? Management will need to build robust contingency plans to mitigate the potential risks of these new tactics. Not only will security need to be considered, but crisis communication will also become a very important facet of any future contingency plan.
Unions are now using communication firms to drive their key messages, not only to striking workers but to elected officials and members of the community.
With social media becoming widely used it is critical for management to ensure they take control of the message. Union activists and elected officials often use fear and misinformation to garner attention.
As part of your overall contingency plan a greater emphasis needs to be placed on a new kind of protest; one that doesn’t involve traditional pickets. The new form of protest is to engage the masses through social media. Damage to your brand and reputation can be accomplished effortlessly with a simply tweet or Facebook posting.
Too many times I hear, “we won’t speak to the media,” or “no comment.” Management typically reacts by engaging legal counsel. This only aids the union as it creates a David and Goliath scenario.
The public then wonders what they are hiding. In order to achieve objectives the old rules of crisis communication need to change.
Are union tactics changing? Have the rules changed when it comes to protests and picketing? Recently the USW and Occupy Toronto gathered for a flash mob at the BMO Building. The union was on strike for an extended period and was becoming increasingly frustrated. As a result members of the union and the occupy movement held a gathering to bring attention to their cause. What security challenges will this present in the future? Contingency plans will now need to take into consideration additional security threats as well as potential damage to the brand caused by such events. A greater focus on security will need to be placed on secondary locations as such head offices, affiliated locations, suppliers as well as financial institutions that provide funding to operate these organizations. In addition to security requirements, there is also a growing need for crisis communication expertise. Because many of these actions are mobilized rapidly, the ability to communicate to both internal and external stakeholders in real time will be necessary.
Facebook fans of IMAC Online Training Academy will have a chance to win one of 10 $1,000 vouchers towards online courses. To celebrate the newest HRCI approved courses, IMAC fans will have an opportunity to win the opportunity to take an entire suite of courses related to workplace violence, nonviolent confrontation management, safe terminations, crisis communications, guidelines for crossing picket lines, strike security and preparation, truck hijacking, armed robbery response…and many other courses for HR training and security training.
Why keep up with your continuing education?
Dr. Paula Caligiuri discusses Advancing Your Career Skills on CNN Newsroom. Dr. Caligiuri is a professor of Human Resource Management at Rutgers University School of Management and Labor Relations.
HR professionals will receive accreditation towards their SHRM designation upon completion of any of IMAC’s pre-approved online courses
Ohio-based International Management Assistance Corporation (IMAC) has achieved HRCI approval for several of the courses offered at its IMAC Online Training Academy. Human resources professionals will now receive HRCI accreditation towards their Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) designation upon successful completion of any of these unique, professionally-relevant courses, available at http://www.imac-training.com.
The courses pre-approved by the HR Certification Institute (HRCI) have been designed expressly to further the careers of HR professionals, and include pragmatic subject matter developed by some of the industry’s top security professionals. Most popular of the accredited courses include an overview of workplace violence, nonviolent confrontation, high-risk terminations and work stoppage management.
Launched in early 2011, the IMAC Online Training Academy is unique in the practical and applicable nature of the training it provides. The IMAC security education team brings together respected experts who will instruct primarily on the realistic application of field-tested concepts and tactics to ensure students get relevant knowledge and techniques to equip them to succeed in the industry today. In addition to its more than twenty courses geared to HR professionals, the school also provides workplace violence training for security professionals and corporate executives.
“Our newly accredited courses for HR professionals are certain to provide a real career edge,” says Rob Shuster, vice president of protective services and training. “We are happy to have our very current and carefully-developed curriculum formally recognized by the HRCI, and look forward to imparting the latest industry knowledge, best practices, and training to as many eager learners as possible.”
In addition to the online courses, the HRCI has also pre-approved IMAC’s Labor Dispute and Work Stoppage Conference being held in Arizona from May 10 and 11, 2012. Registrants who attend both days will be awarded 7.5 HRCI credits towards their SHRM designation. For details and registration, please visit: http://www.imacservices.com/002/IMACArizona2012.php