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New Tactics Emerge During Labor Negotiations
January 4, 2021
A Virtual Labor Negotiation Could Catch an Employer Off-Guard
Corporations and their workforces have been forced to adapt in an instant with the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to maintain their duty of care obligations, employers have had to implement changes to protect entire fleets of staff.
Essential businesses and their employees have had to work through the pandemic with sudden changes to processes and procedures. While these changes are intended to protect workforces, it has also solicited debate between unions and employers.
These sudden changes have spurred extended conversations between labor forces and their employers to ensure they are not only protected but adequately compensated for their efforts.
Expect a Different Show of Force
Workforces usually gather together in masses to show their support for labor negotiations either in public places or courtrooms but with the current physical distance requirements; this tactic has had to change. While their physical presence won’t be felt, their efforts to show force and unity have gone online, which can make matters worse.
Unions have been quick to create social media noise in an effort to spread awareness of their demands while adhering to social distance orders. These online efforts can solicit continued feedback from the community and call supporters to take action in their own hands to address specific workplace issues. This could include email campaigns targeted at key corporate stakeholders or calling for the public to boycott your business.
Expect a workforce’s online and social media efforts to be extensive and elaborate, as the ongoing pandemic has restricted their physical presence during negotiations. Social media can make more noise than any in-person demonstration, putting an enormous amount of pressure on a company to give in to demands.
The Tables Have Changed During Labor Negotiations
Labor negotiations these days will not likely include a literal table. Traditional boardrooms have now been replaced with video-conferencing software.
Virtual negotiations are likely new to all parties involved, opening the door for some unexpected complications. Get to know your software and practice different scenarios before a negotiation. Hiring specialized expertise to help conduct these negotiations could also prove valuable. There is a potential for frustrations to escalate over technical issues, wasting valuable time and money.
Don’t Overlook Communication Software During a Labor Negotiation
During the negotiation itself, stakeholders will need to virtually engage in discussions with their opposition and quickly switch to an internal or private conversation with other members of leadership to discuss propositions.
In order for a team to conduct a remote negotiation, leadership should be prepared for unexpected complications well before they happen. Software difficulties or glitches may be used against you as a delay tactic.
Successfully Navigate Any Labor Negotiations with AFIMAC
AFIMAC has assisted more than 5,000 image-conscious clients of all sizes, plan for, and execute complex labor negotiations. We can help manage the challenges that come from plant closures, extended labor disputes, mass downsizing, and complex workplace negotiations.
Contact us directly to learn more about AFIMAC’s business continuity solutions.