Business Owners Should Be Planning for a Surge in Labor Disputes

June 21, 2021

Picket Sign Labor Disputes and Other Workforce Complications Could be on the Horizon

There are plenty of reasons for optimism in 2021, as a likely economic bounce-back should spur new profits and increased productivity for many employers, including small, medium, to large-sized businesses in the hospitality and tourism industry. Many companies expect to come back roaring into 2021 and beyond, but labor disputes and other complications could become increasingly common.

Two factors that will likely influence the economy moving forward are the long-last effects of the pandemic and the emergence of the PRO Act, which in simple terms, creates extensive rights for workers across the United States. Business owners might be best to prepare for a bumpy ride and begin planning for labor complications, including recruitment challenges, labor reform, and potential strikes and walk-offs.

Employees on Strike Labor Disputes, Recruitment Issues, and Unfilled Part-Time Positions Might Be the Norm

Many small businesses are experiencing a major complication as it gears up for the summer season. Restaurants, retail stores, clothing chains, and food services of all kinds can’t seem to find employees to fill vacant positions. Many news publications are reporting on an abundance of “help wanted” signs in businesses like coffee shops and pubs, with gas stations and fast-food chains also struggling to fill part-time positions that younger workers once sought out.

The reasons for this new hesitancy and labor shortage are still yet undetermined. The speculation is that improved unemployment benefits in the United States have resulted in a reluctance to work. Hardware stores, in particular, have struggled to staff their stores, citing that younger generations are unwilling to work for low wages with limited job security or benefits. The pandemic has highlighted some of the challenges that have come along with “essential work,” and individuals are being more selective about whom they work for while waiting for more competitive wages or even taking it upon themselves to explore entrepreneurship and self-employment.

Employers might have to step up and question whether their job offerings will entice workers to come back to the job site for part-time work. These part-time jobs usually only pay minimum wage, and workers have begun weighing the pros and cons of working a low-paying service job while potentially becoming sick at work. Further, living costs have increased, forcing workers to seek employment that addresses their needs for a livable wage.

Labor Disputes Expected as a Result of the PRO Act

To make matters worse for many employers, the PRO Act promotes nationwide labor reform that will give workers more rights and increased abilities to form unions. Some of the tactics employers have used to dissuade workers from forming unions will come with significant penalties and fines that were once brushed aside. Now, workers will have increased rights to organize, strike, and demand more from their employers regarding wages and benefits. The implications of the PRO Act are significant for many employers, suddenly shifting the relationship between worker and employer.

Anticipated labor disputes and complications can already be seen within the fast-food industry. America’s greatest burger chain is about to experience a strike among its workforce, which is uncommon for this sector. Workforces have suddenly decided to speak up and request improved wages, increased job security, and new protections and health benefits that will keep them safe for the foreseeable future.

Boardroom Navigate Complicated Labor Disputes with the Guidance of AFIMAC

Many employers have had the ability to replace striking workforces with temporary labor in the past; the PRO Act is set to end such a practice. With the combination of workers suddenly becoming more selective and educated on labor laws, along with increased worker’s rights from the PRO Act, there is undoubtedly a storm brewing in America. Employers will need to make careful considerations and adjustments to ensure that their business remains viable for years to come.

Navigating these challenges is best done with the assistance of a third party experienced in handling contentious labor strikes and negotiations and the complications of the upcoming PRO Act.

Ensure that your business can navigate the obstacles of the PRO act and remain compliant throughout the process. Trust the experience of AFIMAC to help any business navigate the challenges of upcoming labor relations issues, especially those tied to the PRO act and the pandemic.

Contact us directly to learn more.
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