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Is the radio firing up your employees' strike talk?

by , 02 April 2013
Despite the recent minimum wage increase, Cape farm workers are likely to go on strike again. They still aren't happy over their wages. Luckily, the strike may be prevented as unions, farmers and even government are in talks now to find a lasting solution. That's great news, as communication has long been thought to be at the heart of solving tensions in the workplace. But did you know that certain forms of mass communication - like talk radio - could be all it takes to stoke the fire and incite strike talk?

Thought South African strike action was over?
Think again.
Cape farmworkers are aiming for more strike action over wages, says TheNewAge
The reason?
The workers are still unhappy over the new minimum wage of R105 a day.
Communication: The key to preventing a strike!
Luckily, this strike may be put off if a solution is found soon – and there's a chance it will be, as unions are meeting with farmers and government in an effort to find a lasting solution.
eHow agrees that keeping communications open is the best way to prevent a strike. 
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.
If, for example, your employees are upset over their wages and you can't afford to pay them an increase, you can negotiate with them.
Your employees will likely be happy with more flexible working arrangements and being given time off, says The Telegraph
Just make sure you clearly mention your position on wage increases, bonuses and alternatives like time off in your employees' employment contracts.
It's a great way to protect your business from strike action if – or when – employees threaten to strike. 
One form of communication to avoid in the workplace as it incites strike talk…
But there's another important form of communication you may not even realise has an influence over employees' mood and whether they're in a 'fighting mood' in the first place.
It's background music.
Are your employees listening to external sources that are aggravating their mood at work?
You need to be careful what your employees listen to at work, as 'music or talk radio with anger-inducing themes may foster an atmosphere where a strike becomes more likely', says HowToDoThings.com.
So rather switch to a classic music station or turn all radios off if there's a tense atmosphere among your employees.
You could just save yourself from a strike!

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