A City Worker Strike Should Be Expected Across North America

City Work Strike Services

City worker strikes illustrated by a man with a face mask yelling into a megaphone.

City Worker Strike: Services Available Across North America

A city worker strike poses incredible challenges for municipal governments throughout the continent. The city staff that dedicate their lives to supporting both major cities and small towns are experiencing a cost-of-living crunch that shows very limited signs of slowing. Between garbage collectors and road maintenance professionals, the workforces that have historically maintained the infrastructure of communities of all sizes simply need more from their employers. Many labor unions are seeking a significant increase in wages to address rising rents and soaring grocery prices due to persistent inflation and ongoing interest rate hikes.

Municipal government worker strikes can leave communities exposed to a number of unpredictable risks, especially when these labor strikes drag on for extended periods of time. Cities maintain both general laborers and skilled employees to support their communities that may be in short supply should labor turmoil arise. When the groundskeepers of city parks and the sanitization specialists of a city’s drinking water take to the picket line, employers will have no other choice but to negotiate head-on with the unions who represent them.

City Worker Strike: Potential Social Issues

When union negotiations stall and your workforce is about to strike, employers will need to consider every possible security risk that could impact their staff and the general public. Picket lines are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to risks that could negatively impact the entire community. 

City worker strike in Ontario Canada illustrated by a construction worker on a job site.

There are several community issues that may arise during a city worker strike. Should city social service workers head to the picket line, a rise in social issues is likely to follow. Many people from all walks of life lean on city-sponsored social service workers for support and guidance, and a sudden departure from their work is a recipe for disaster. Should these professionals head to the picket line, it could cause harm to those who are homeless or are experiencing challenges related to mental illness and drug addiction. City worker strikes in long-term care homes and public health facilities follow a similar pattern, and labor turmoil in these sectors can prevent those in need from receiving the care they require.

Considering Ongoing Labor Shortages

Some sectors in the municipal space that utilize “low-skilled” or general laborers can be supplemented with contingent workforces. Effective pre-worker strike planning begins weeks, sometimes months before an official strike, and includes contingency planning that addresses the need for temporary workforces. Preemptively making arrangements for the use of a contingent workforce can help cities and small-town governments buy precious time during a labor strike, allowing employers more time to work alongside a union and bring a strike to an end. Failing to plan for a sudden lack of available workers can compromise the reputation of the city and harm your community’s standards of living. 

City streets left unmaintained and garbage that simply isn’t being collected can create issues in the long term, but can also be managed with contingent workforces in the short term. Plan now for the possibility that your local government will need to explore the possibility that outside workforces will be required to ensure that your community is not negatively impacted.

Security Risks To You, Your Workforce, and Community

Picketing and protests should be expected in the midst of a labor strike. Many local governments might be surprised at the level of public support received for the striking workforce, with community members joining in on demonstrations. Pre-strike planning considers where and when picket lines and protests will emerge, helping employers lock down their job sites and protect skeleton teams. 

In other cases, workforces may look beyond municipal office spaces and take their efforts to downtown community squares or prominent landmarks in order to bring attention to their demands. When picket lines turn into “community marches,” the public becomes exposed to the risk of personal injury. These demonstrations can turn heated, especially if they block busy roadways or experience any sort of counter-protest from the public. These unpredictable issues call for a unique mix of intelligence gathering, social listening, and in-person security forces to protect both public property and community members.

Full-Service Worker Strike Solutions by AFIMAC Global

AFIMAC is proud to work closely alongside governmental agencies to address the many challenges that arise due to a city worker strike. With full-service solutions available to governments across North America, AFIMAC is confident in its ability to address every element of a difficult worker strike. Conduct risk mitigation planning of your job sites, weigh the potential risks of picket line violence, and gather information that can hold protestors accountable for their actions. 

The complexities of a city worker strike require so much more than contingent workforces, but instead a 360-degree approach to security and protection. AFIMAC has historically worked with governments in both Canada and the United States to negotiate with unions and bring an end to a labor strike as quickly as possible. Should your government be expecting a labor strike, the time is now to begin the planning process. Connect with us directly to learn more about your options, and tap into the 30 years of experience on this subject. We specialize in labor dispute services and are highly capable of working in your best interest to protect both people and property. Fill out the form below to learn more and speak with an AFIMAC representative today.

Contact us directly to begin the process.

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