Crisis Management Series

Playbook: Industrial Action

Industrial Action can take many forms: go-slows, public demonstrations, sit-ins, lock-outs, strikes and physical intimidation or sabotage.
Steve Sobak
Crisis Management Certified Planner-Specialist-Expert

Playbook: Industrial Action

Industrial Action can take many forms: go-slows, public demonstrations, sit-ins, lock-outs, strikes and physical intimidation or sabotage.

IC_CM_Industrial Action

Action Steps

The Team should consider adopting the actions and measures listed below depending on the nature of the dispute:

  • Apply tight information security to documents, faxes and telephones:
    • Consider telephone calls and discussions being overheard and faxes being read by unauthorized staff
    • Is there a secure phone or fax? How are documents destroyed?
  • Decide on the level of operations to be maintained by ABC COMPANY LIMITED
  • Determine whether services could be provided from other locations
  • Determine the key areas to be manned and the skills of non-strikers should be known to determine their ability to carry out essential work
  • If it is decided to operate a reduced service, ensure full details are communicated to all parties affected, including customers
  • Assess any stop-gap training measures required and draw up an implementation program
  • Determine the additional security measures necessary to manage the site
  • Assess the arrangements necessary to enable staff to work longer hours, including the provision of an adequate supply of food and water in buildings that may be picketed
  • Review the ability of branches and offices to respond to emergencies, e.g. Fire, bomb threat, medical
  • Consider suspending all applications for leave
  • Agree the industrial relations and legal processes be put in place:
    • Do employment laws permit the action contemplated?
    • Will legal action result? Review disciplinary procedures?
  • Review the security and protection provided for both office and residential premises; see the action list covering threats against property in this section
  • Review the mood of employees and ensure the necessary protection is given to non-striking staff; see the action list covering threats against people in this section
  • Compile confidential personal files for key staff
  • If a decision is made to continue work, staff who have decided not to participate in industrial action must be notified and told what they are expected to do
  • If appropriate, the authorities should be notified of the strike before it began and asked to provide assistance
  • Decide how to communicate with the strikers and the extent that they should be allowed to use ABC COMPANY LIMITED’s facilities
  • If striking employees stay away from the premises, make arrangements to hand over personal property, striking employees should not be allowed to enter the restricted areas in ABC COMPANY LIMITED premises
  • Make provision for the orderly maintenance of essential equipment and computers, an inventory of the minimum requirements and the support manpower needs must be maintained
  • Maintain a list of the names, addresses and telephone numbers of all key contacts including union officials, professional advisors, the police, the media, regulators and government authorities
  • Inform managers of the actions necessary to protect ABC COMPANY LIMITED’s assets g. Premises, equipment, records, data
  • Consider withdrawing keys from striking staff and have them held by senior management
  • Consider changing locks on external doors and shutters and access control codes
  • Identify posts whether the job holder could seriously damage the interests of ABC COMPANY LIMITED through malicious action and increase supervision or redeploy
  • Set up a confidential helpline where staff can report intimidation and receive the appropriate advice and help.


A Manager’s Guide to Implementing Your Crisis Management Plan


Goh, M. H. (2016). A Manager’s Guide to Implement Your Crisis Management Plan. Business Continuity Management Specialist Series (1st ed., p. 192). Singapore: GMH Pte Ltd.

Extracted from Appendix 6F: Industrial Action




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