Avoiding a strike is obviously the best strategy. But if, despite best efforts, a strike appears unavoidable, early planning and effective implementation are the only ways to minimise damage. Such planning will include at minimum:
- deciding whether hiring replacement workers will be possible (it’s almost always prohibited);
- communicating with suppliers and customers to tailor deliveries to the new situation, and to warn customers of impending problems affecting prompt shipment of products. Where possible, inventories might be built up in advance;
- communicating with non-striking employees to maintain morale;
- obtaining early legal advice on whether it is possible to seek an injunction to prevent the strike;
- planning the temporary cessation of operations if the strike will cripple the business; and
- continuing to negotiate with the union – brinkmanship games always, always cost money.