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Three easy steps to avoid your employees from taking strike action like the Western Cape farmworkers

by , 16 January 2013
The Mail & Guardian Online reports that Clanwilliam workers and farmers have finally reached a wage deal agreement that could bring an end to the farmworkers' strikes in the Western Cape. The strike has made business owners across the country uneasy as their own employees could follow suit by striking if their demands aren't met. You can take three easy steps to avoid your employees from going on strike.

Cosatu's provincial secretary Tony Ehrenreich told reporters that Clanwilliam farmers had made an offer of R105 a day.  The farmworkers went on strike last year to demand their daily wage be increased from R69 to R150.
 
Piet Coetzer asked on Leadership Online if the continued unrest should be called a strike, a rebellion or just plain chaos. Either way, it's much easier to prevent a strike than trying to handle the after-effects of a strike.
 
Here are three easy steps you can take today to avoid your employees going on strike:
 
Step 1: Be proactive in addressing disputes and grievances
Develop good communication policies and procedures. This'll enable your employees to approach you and discuss issues before they resort to extreme measures, such as strikes.
 
Step 2: Address issues as soon as your employees raise them
This doesn't necessarily mean you have to agree to anything and everything your employees demand. Create an environment that allows for compromise from both you and your employees. One way of addressing the issues raised by your employees is to enter into long-term agreements.
 
Step 3: Have an open door policy with your trade union rep
Have an open-door policy with the union representatives at your workplace. This means your employee representatives can discuss any issues of concern with you before resorting to strike action. You'll be able to address and sort out issues immediately.
 
This policy will establish a relationship of trust between you and your employees.
 
If your employees trust you and know you're willing to try and address their concerns, they'll rather approach you to sort out issues instead of resorting to a strike.
 
You're missing out on hundreds of other ways to safeguard your rights as an employer if you haven't signed up for our Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service yet. What are you waiting for? Click here!
 

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