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Here's how a little more communication can help prevent a strike like today's Pikitup strike...

by , 06 May 2013
South Africa could get smelly soon. The reason? Workers at waste management company Pikitup went on strike this morning. Surprisingly, it's not money that they're striking over, but rather a change in the system for transporting the workers and a change in working hours that they feel is unfair and wasn't communicated properly. Learn from Pikitup's case before your workers implement a strike over similar reasons!

Pikitup's workers went on strike and demonstrated outside the company's head office this morning, says Fin24.
This is an illegal or unprotected strike as Pikitup obtained a court interdict to stop the strike this weekend.
Here's why you should always get an interdict if a strike is brewing…
While the Municipal Workers' Union (Samwu) was aware of the interdict, the message hadn't filtered through to all union members as it was issued over the weekend.
This is important, because if employees continue to strike despite an interdict, you may start thinking about dismissal, says The Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf.
And if you have an interdict before you consider dismissal, this places you in a stronger position to defend the fairness of the dismissal.
But you can avoid this drastic step.
Because one of the main reasons for the Pikitup strike is that workers are unhappy that management has stopped their half-work day once a month and changed it back to a full work day, says Fin24.
The union is set to meet with management later today to resolve the issues, which weren't communicated clearly in the first place. 
And you can learn from this.
Communication can help prevent a strike, if you do it at the right time…
eHow agrees that keeping communications open is the best way to resolve a strike, but it's also the best way to prevent a strike in the first place. 
That's why you should always be willing to sit down with union representatives, and assure employees that they're welcome to talk to you about their concerns, says FSP Business.
It's also a good idea to make sure you clearly understand and state management's position, as you don't have to give in to all of the union's demands, you simply have to listen to their concerns.
This way, you'll know whether a particular issue is likely to result in strike action or not and you'll be able to take further action that doesn't result in a strike.
And by being proactive in addressing these disputes and grievances, your employees will be more likely to approach you and discuss issues before they resort to extreme measures, such as strikes.
It's a win-win situation!

Discover how to stand up to striking employees and even completely avoid strikes with the A-Z Guide to Preventing and Managing Strikes...


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