A forklift driver from AFIMAC arrives on assignment. An employer considers replacing striking workers with temporary labor and contingent workforce options from AFIMAC Global.

Replacing Striking Workers:
Are Contingent Workers the
“New” Norm?

Replacing Striking Workers: Are Contingent Workers the “New” Normal?

December 12, 2023

Replacing Striking Workers: How Contingent Workforces Help Businesses

Replacing striking workers is a difficult decision facing many employers throughout North America in 2023. Contingent workers have now become an essential tool in the back pockets of employers who are facing complex labor turmoil to make ends meet. When a business utilizes replacement workers during strikes, it can find temporary relief from labor turmoil tied to union strikes and lockouts while ensuring ongoing business continuity. 

Many employers should be looking to embrace the evolving global trends of temporary work arrangements. Leveraging short-term temporary workers can address labor shortages and union strikes, helping your business maintain operations.

An employer considers replacing striking workers at a construction site.

Replacing Striking Workers: Trends in the North American Economy

The nature of work in North America continues to evolve, with businesses and workers embracing new trends that offer more flexibility, shorter assignments, and a “freelance” approach to making a living. The everyday worker is looking for something different from their employers, often turning to temp agencies and staffing agencies to facilitate their needs.

Many industries continue to struggle to find long-term staffing solutions, often building workforces that are quite selective and sometimes moving on from a position if a better opportunity arises. This creates a wave of complex labor issues that have challenged employers to supply the demands of their business. Further, as the costs of living continue to rise due to inflation, workers simply need to seek alternatives that offer greater compensation and increased overtime opportunities. 

One think tank out of California has taken notice of this evolving trend and has forecasted that the contingent worker base is expected to soar in size by well over 50% across the world.

The result is a new normal for businesses in 2023, creating opportunities for independent contractors seeking different forms of work while companies continuously tap into these unique workforces. As employers continually navigate the challenges of strikes and union negotiations, contingent workforces can be a lifeline to help maintain operations despite a lack of skilled talent.

Replacing Striking Workers: Strike Replacement Companies

Choosing the right temp agency or staffing company is, however, very complex. With a lack of skilled workers available to employers, local temp agencies are often not able to source workers on your behalf because they are experiencing the same labor shortages as your business. As the need for talent grows and the roles become more specific, these skill sets will be increasingly difficult to source. This is especially relevant to employers experiencing a strike in a rural area, away from major cities. Sourcing skilled talent in small towns is often unattainable, calling for a total rethinking of staffing solutions.

Creative approaches to addressing a lack of skilled labor include bringing temporary workforces directly to the job site. When skilled workers search for temporary assignments, they often understand that travel comes with part of the job, and as such, many contingent workforce companies are actively looking to facilitate such arrangements.

Security Considerations During a Labor Dispute

While there is a growing talent pool that is searching for temporary assignments, replacing a striking workforce comes with endless security risks that simply can’t be ignored. When a labor strike occurs, picket lines can be dangerous to cross, while some disgruntled workers pose risks of vandalism, online harassment, and even home invasion. 

Bringing contingent workforces onto your job site is a delicate matter that is never cut and dry, and employers will need to carefully weigh the risks and rewards of using a contingent workforce during a strike.

Contingent Workforces From AFIMAC Global

Leverage the unique offerings of AFIMAC Global and explore the fundamentals of replacing a workforce during a labor strike. Employers can tap into the skilled database of workers available across North America, while AFIMAC takes care of the fine details of accommodations and transportation. Find solutions to the complexities of labor shortages and union strikes, with large fleets of staff available at your disposal, even on short notice.

Explore offerings from AFIMAC that address every element of your labor strike, along with comprehensive security solutions that can protect the business you have worked so hard to build.

Contact us now by filling out the form below.

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