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Are you ready for the true cost of strikes on your business? Prevent strikes at all costs!

by , 27 March 2013
Frustrated at the effects of the Post Office strike? The Post Office itself isn't too happy either, having already paid R6 million in overtime to try address the mail backlog. Here's to avoid a similar impact on your bottom line by preventing strikes in the first place!

A wildcat strike is an illegal strike that's not authorised by a union, explains WiseGeek.
And illegal strikes tend to have the most impact on your business.
For example, the recent wildcat strike at the South African Post Office has cost the company R103 million, says Fin24.
That's not counting citizens' dissatisfaction at the unreliability of the post service in getting urgent documents to their destination on time.
So it's not just the productivity losses you need to worry about when your employees strike.
Because strikes can result in loss of productivity, angry customers, financial losses, injury, damage to property and soured employee relations, explains the Labour Law for Managers Handbook
Here's how to survive a strike…
You can follow the Post Office's contingency plans, which involved employees and volunteers working around the clock in shifts to get productivity back on track.
And as the strike was illegal or unprotected, the Post Office was in its rights to dismiss the 588 employees who refused to return to work as a result of a fake court document which stated that workers were owed significant amounts of money. 
Added to this, the employee responsible for the misinformation and fraudulent campaign has been arrested.
Prevent future strikes by tackling the cause of the strike in the first place
Now, the dismissed employees are asking for their jobs back.
You don't have to give employees their old jobs back, especially if they went on an illegal strike.
But if you do, it's essential that when the strikers return to work, you implement talks to prevent further action.
This is a must, because when workers demand something, it's a sign that something has gone wrong, says Fin24.
Communication: it's the only way to ensure everyone feels heard!
If you're worried that violence will break out when employees return to work, make sure your employees know you're listening to them, as the surprise factor of really listening to someone is often enough to neutralise the angry person's energy, suggests the Labour Bulletin.
In fact, the best way to prevent a strike is to make sure the work situation never becomes that antagonistic in the first place, says eHow.
One way to do so is to make sure it's clear that you have an open door policy with any trade union representatives in your company, and that employees are welcome to talk to you about their concerns.
If your employees are worried about anonymity, you can suggest place their concerns in a suggestion box that's you'll go through at the start of each week.
This is a great way to address and sort out issues immediately and hopefully prevent strike action in the first place, says FSP Business.
If the same suggestion comes up repeatedly, you'll know where the real problem lies.

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