BREAKING NEWS: Christmas negotiations have broken down in the North Pole between Santa and his helpers. Despite best efforts to ratify new collective bargaining agreements before the big night, both his Reindeer represented by Teamsters Local 025 and his Elves represented by Elves Local 1225 have decided to strike. Work rule changes to reduce absenteeism and overtime appear to be sticking points. Another round of negotiations are scheduled for tomorrow, December 23, and Santa has stated "We're still hoping to come to a resolution."

Thankfully, Santa has a comprehensive strike contingency plan in place; a replacement workforce is on its way along with labor dispute security teams to protect his sleigh, gifts, and ensure Mrs. Claus is protected while he is away on Christmas Eve.  At this time, Santa is on schedule with his Christmas preparations, is dedicated to delivering Christmas cheer, and ensuring all deliveries are made on schedule as planned. 

If you're facing a potential labor dispute as well, be like Santa and ensure you have a thorough strike contingency plan in place. For help, download information from our Strike Planning Toolbox. Here are some other things to consider as you prepare: 

Temporary Replacement Workers

Identifying and fully-vetting a replacement workforce well in advance of a labor dispute enables an efficient and rapid deployment of personnel to your facility. Additionally, it is through the vetting process that candidates are informed about the specific job requirements and expectations for the potential job to ensure they are fully qualified, have the right attitude, and are a good fit for the specific job function they will be placed into. 

Maintaining contact with the replacement workforce on a regular basis prior to the labor dispute enables the strike staffing vendor to continuously ascertain availability and make necessary adjustments as needed by reaching out to new employees or conducting additional recruiting. 

Labor Dispute Security 

Effective documentation on the picket line hinges on being able to anticipate and recognize violations when they happen. Organizations need a means to identify illegal union activities and capture them in a legally verifiable manner in order to be used as evidence.

Keeping track of security threats, criminal offenses and NLRA violations by union members and their supporters can give businesses leverage by being able to obtain temporary restraining orders and injunctive relief. However, simply reporting violations is not enough to get a temporary restraining order. Incident reporting and evidence gathering must be properly tracked and documented in order to be of value to your legal counsel.

For more labor dispute planning and management tips, see some of our other posts below.