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Organizations dealing with a strike or other work stoppage need to address additional threats in order to effectively protect the company's people, property, products and brand. In order to manage risks to acceptable levels, the ideal scenario involves a detailed site analysis conducted in advance by security professionals with business continuity expertise to identify and address vulnerabilities and resulting threats.

Core principles of protection
Effective protection goes beyond physical security. Basic physical security usually entails a combination of well-maintained and designed fences, lighting, IP surveillance systems and access control measures. An analysis conducted by an expert such as a certified Physical Security Inspector can expose a host of vulnerabilities that pose minimal risk under normal conditions, but are unacceptable threat during a strike.

A thorough analysis typically includes reviews of:

  • Procedures
  • Best Practices
  • CCTV/IP Systems
  • Alarms
  • Barriers and Exterior Lighting

Regulations
Understanding and having a working knowledge of the laws and regulations that govern picket line activity is critical in a labor dispute because violations of these regulations and any criminal activity by union members, when properly documented, can be used in a court of law to support requests for temporary restraining orders and injunctive relief from violence, ongoing threats, damage to company and staff members' property and numerous other issues. 

Furthermore, these laws also mandate the appropriate methods by which evidence can be gathered and clearly punishes improper documentation that will lead to unfair labor practice charges against the company.

In-House vs. Outside Vendors
A regular security guard may be appropriate for day-to-day access control, but they will not be prepared for the specific risks and threats posed by a strike. Augmenting your existing security personnel with a protection team on the picket line can provide a barrier between striking union members and your regular security staff, who will remain on-site once the dispute is over.

Nothing should be unexpected
Businesses must also be prepared to safeguard their reputation during a strike. A Protection strategy also addresses exposure to social media, portable devices and other tools that could be used by disgruntled union personnel and enacts measures to limit exposure and reduce risks that may result.

Managing threats during a work stoppage is essential and requires more than the run of the mill security guard in order to protect the business.