What to Expect When You’re Expecting a Strike


A strike is a labor protest in which workers refuse to perform their duties, seeking to negotiate better working conditions, increased wages, or other benefits. When a strike is imminent, it’s crucial for both employers and employees to know what to expect and how to prepare.

1. Negotiations and Collective Bargaining

Before a strike occurs, there is usually a period of negotiation between the workforce’s representatives and the employer. This process, called collective bargaining, seeks a compromise between the demands of both parties. During this time, be prepared for meetings, discussions, and potentially tense conversations. It’s crucial to keep communication channels open and maintain a respectful dialogue.

2. Union Involvement

Employee unions play an essential role in organizing and supporting strikes. Union members typically vote on whether or not to authorize a strike. If you’re not part of a union or have limited knowledge about them, familiarizing yourself with the role they play in strikes would help you understand the situation better.

3. Legalities Surrounding Strikes

Strikes are protected under various labor laws, such as the National Labor Relations Act in the US. However, there may be limitations or specific rules depending on your location. It’s critical that both employers and employees fully understand their rights and obligations during a strike.

4. Financial Implications

A strike can have financial consequences for both striking employees and employers. Strikers may lose wages during the protest period, while employers face loss of productivity and potential disruptions in supply chains or client relationships. It’s important to plan for these financial impacts by having contingency plans in place.

5. Disruptions to Personal and Professional Life

Strikes often lead to inconveniences that affect everyday routines, both personally and professionally. Employees may need to adjust childcare arrangements, daily schedules, or even deal with strained relationships among colleagues as opinions diverge about the strike. Employers, on the other hand, may need to rely on temporary workers, redistribute tasks, or readjust deadlines.

6. Public and Media Perceptions

During a strike, both employees and employers should be aware that their actions and words may be scrutinized by the public and media. This is important because public support can influence the outcome of a strike. Be mindful of your image and try to provide accurate information when speaking publicly or to the press.

7. Resolution and Post-Strike Considerations

Once a strike has concluded, it’s important for both parties to work on rebuilding relationships and addressing any lingering concerns. A successful resolution requires open communication, understanding, and a commitment to moving forward together.


When you’re expecting a strike, preparation is essential for both employees and employers. Understanding the dynamics of negotiations, union involvement, legal rights, financial implications, personal disruptions, public relations, and post-strike considerations are vital aspects in navigating this challenging time. The ultimate goal should always be reaching a fair resolution that benefits everyone involved.

Choose your Reaction!