Worker Strikes Continue to be an Issue Across North America Post-COVID

June 14, 2021

Picket Line Worker Strikes Might be on the Rise for Years to Come

Work has been highly complicated for most North Americans throughout the pandemic. Now, simple jobs like stocking shelves, packing meat, or serving fast food come with the potential of actually contracting COVID-19. Suddenly workforces that were deemed essential might begin rethinking whether or not the benefits of coming into work outweigh its rewards. Worker strikes of all kinds are a real possibility across North America for many industries that never experience such challenges.

In 2021 and beyond, expect more labor complications with the introduction of the PRO Act in the United States. Workforces are set to push back against employers and ultimately form unions in an effort to demand more pay and benefits. If the right to organize trends and becomes more popular among certain industries, some employers could expect unions to demand more from their employer and potentially head to the picket lines to strike.

Worker Strikes Among Those Deemed Essential in North America

Many workers became essential during the pandemic, learning a new lesson in the complexity of work. Fast-food workers, grocers, meat packers, factory workers, and retailers that never once thought about unionizing could now be having a change of heart on the idea. Alongside sweeping reforms coming to labor laws in the United States with the PRO Act, many business owners should be preparing for potential disruptions in productivity, along with asks that include increased wages, benefits, and protections.

Small, medium and large-sized businesses have had to continually hire to stay productive throughout the pandemic. Roles that were once easy to fill might now need an added incentive for new people to join your workforce. Grocery chains, in particular, took on extended costs to maintain operations that included added security and the procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE). There is a potential for expanded labor challenges and worker strikes in the very near future for grocers, as low wages and increased costs of living fuel potential militancy among workforces.

Strike Sign Worker Strikes in North America: What Can Happen Next?

Business owners and employers that look to replenish their workforces as a result of walk-offs or strikes might find limited success beyond 2021. Should employers not revise their offerings or increase wages, professionals in related industries could show solidarity and support for fellow workers, opting not to take on work that isn’t reflective of industry standards. As the cost of living increases in North America, many workforces will have no other option but to ask for more from their employers or seek employment elsewhere.

The food and retail industry, for example, experienced many strikes throughout the pandemic, gaining online support from other workers that have been deemed essential. With the PRO Act set to be passed in 2021, other workforces can legally join the picket lines alongside these workers in an effort to show their support. Further, the PRO Act allows unions to picket and boycott other business partners and vendors to increase their leverage during negotiations. Workforces are expected to become highly organized and informed, and employers should be expecting a potential push back that they have never experienced before.

Strike Training Address Complications of Worker Strikes with AFIMAC

Labor relations in North America are expected to become highly complicated. Prepare for turmoil between employers and unions, and leverage the experience of AFIMAC to address any of your small, medium, or large business concerns. AFIMAC is highly experienced in labor negotiations of all kinds and can help you navigate work stoppages and union relations. Should your business experience a strike, AFIMAC can provide temporary replacement workers, strike security and executive protection while planning for ongoing and volatile negotiations.

AFIMAC can also assist businesses to plan for upcoming strikes, along with navigating the complications associated with the PRO Act for years to come.

Contact us directly to learn about available services and solutions provided by AFIMAC.
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