Conflict management: what you should know

Populist movements and a call for income equality have brought labor-related protests and uprisings to countries ranging from South Africa to China. Here’s what you should know.

Conflict management: what you should know
It
is undeniable that labor unrest has become increasingly vocal, with such prominent global movements as the call for a minimum wage hike in the U.S. and Australia to public demonstrations for better treatment of workers in Asia and Latin America.
 
Here are six tips for mitigating the risk of labor upheaval in your company, according to a guide for multinational companies issued by Marshall-James Global Solutions and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer:
 
  • Complete an internal audit – what are the risks inherent to your organization?
  • Keep board members informed of the political, labor-related landscape. If any threats arise, prepare a strategy and adequate response.
  • Discover whether the unions in your organization belong to any Global Union Federations, and keep track of discussions in those GUFs. It’s advisable to monitor media and press clippings for any mention of labor issues or human rights concerns.
  • Implement an early warning system across all countries in which you operate. Be certain that local supervisors know what to look out for and can take appropriate response.
  • Be apprised of union developments in the supply chain, and know whether business to business customers and suppliers are unionized in the same alliance.
  • Have a plan for internal and external communications, and have answers prepared for employees, shareholders, customers, and the media.
 
Poorly handled labor crises have the capacity to damage a company’s reputation permanently. Since information can now spread instantaneously, it is more crucial than ever to make sure your organization is prepared for the worst.
 
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