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Numsa set to strike on the 1st of July 2014

by , 30 June 2014
Another crippling strike is looming.

On Tuesday (1 July 2014), 220 000 National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) members from the engineering, communications and automotive sectors will down tools.

The reason?

They want a 12% wage hike.

While analysts say they don't expect the Numsa strike to last as long as the recent mining strike, employers should arm themselves with methods to control the strike action, especially considering the violence that comes with strikes nowadays.

Use these four tips to control strike action if it happens in your company.

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Discover the essential components of a strike and effectively manage striking employees...

If strikes aren't managed properly they could spiral out of control and become violent...

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Four tips to help you control strike action

Tip #1: When a union gives notice of intention to strike, employees sometimes ready themselves for the strike by asking non-union members to join in the strike. And this often takes the form of intimidation, say the experts behind the Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service.

To deal with this situation, the experts say, advise the union in a letter that they must ensure there's no intimidation towards non-union members as soon as they give notice of intention to strike. Tell them it's the union's responsibility to control its members.

It's best to deal with issues of intimidation and misconduct in one letter and advise the union that if there's violence, intimidation and damage to property you'll approach the Labour Court for an urgent interdict.

Tip #2: Put up a notice on notice boards to advise employees that you're adopting a zero tolerance approach towards intimidation. Make it clear to your employees that you'll discipline anyone who intimidates another employee and if found guilty, you'll dismiss.

Tip #3: Place a notice on the notice board and set out your company's policy on misconduct.

Tip #4: If misconduct takes place during the strike, take disciplinary action as soon as the strike ends.

There's one important point you need to remember about controlling strike action

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It's better to address intimidation and misconduct issues before you're in a strike situation

Our experts say, although these tips all indicate possible ways of dealing with intimidation and misconduct once you have a strike on your hands, it's better to address these issues before you're in a strike situation.

You must be proactive, not reactive, say the experts behind the Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service.

'Negotiate rules with the union about strike related conduct when you aren't in dispute and when you're more likely to get a sensible and reasonable arrangement in place.'

They add: If unions and employees breach the pre-agreed arrangement, you'll be in a stronger position to take action.

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