Example Letter #1
We trust we will avoid the strike threatened by the local metal workers' union next week. But in case we don't, we need to have contingency plans in place.
To begin with, please handle all current orders immediately so we will have no backlog. Since management and nonunion personnel will be required to take over many functions, please let your supervisor know in which areas you feel most qualified to work. If a picket line forms in front of the building, avoid confrontation by entering through the underground parking area.
We will be working around the clock to reach a settlement so no one will suffer unduly from the strike. Your help will be appreciated. Thank you for your hard work and support.
Example Letter #2
As you know, negotiations for a new telephone operators' contract are in a critical phase. We believe we will reach an agreement before the present contract ends on February 1, but we must have a contingency plan in case talks fail.
Our first priority must be to handle emergency calls. We ask that supervisors assume this task under the direction of John Doe. The general managers will handle routine calls. Recently retired management personnel may also assist.
We will hope for the best.
Example Letter #3
As you know, the teachers' union strike threat is very real. In the event that a strike does occur, we request that all non striking school district personnel report to your positions on September 1, as if there were no strike.
In order to complete all the possible administrative and maintenance duties we will work half-days until the resolution of any teachers' strike. We rely very heavily on the non-teaching staff. We are very confident that we can pull together in the event of a strike and keep this district ready to provide the kind of education our community's children deserve.
Example Letter #4
Negotiations are still underway regarding the threatened electrical workers' strike. Although we hope to avoid a strike, we want to set up a contingency plan should a strike occur.
Take time today to meet today with nonunion personnel in your respective departments to discuss how you will work to keep production running smoothly. You will need to make a report at a departmental meeting tomorrow in John Doe's office at 9:00 a.m. We will also discuss where and how personnel should enter the building should a picket line form.
We trust that with your cooperation in pooling of resources from all the departments, we can maintain enough production to service our customers adequately. Thank you for your support and cooperation.
Example Letter #5
As you are aware, management of our subsidiary, the John Doe Trucking Company, has been meeting with representatives from the truckers' union to avoid a threatened strike. In the event that negotiations break down and a strike occurs, we need a contingency plan.
We will hold a meeting for all nonunion personnel and managers at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow in the conference room. We will review the company policy regarding strikes and give further details on how we plan to ship our produce should a strike occur. We appreciate your cooperation and support at this time.
Write Your Letter Step-by-Step
1 Explain when the strike may occur, despite your efforts to avoid it.
Sample Sentences for Step 1
- As you know, the local union may go on strike starting July 15, at 1:00 a.m. We hope to have a settlement by then, but in case we don't, we must make contingency plans.
- We are doing everything in our power to reach a settlement with the local union, but it appears that they may go on strike next Monday morning.
- We are going to great lengths to avoid a costly strike by the carpenters' union, but there is still a possibility that they will walk out early Tuesday morning.
- We have all dreaded a trucker's strike, but one appears imminent.
- The pending strike by farm workers is beyond our control. We have been monitoring the situation closely and feel that we must prepare for any eventuality.
Sample Phrases for Step 1
- a strike seems imminent
- appears that they may go on strike
- are going to great lengths
- are doing our best to avoid
- as you already know
- as you are aware
- considering the demands
- doing everything in our power to prevent
- for the possibility of a strike
- has been authorized
- have probably already heard about
- hope to come to an agreement
- hope to have a settlement by then
- hope to reach a settlement
- make contingency plans
- may go on strike starting
- may go on strike next
- must make contingency plans
- not willing to compromise
- pending negotiations
- possibility that they will walk out
- should be prepared for
- since agreement has not yet been reached
- the pending strike by
- trust that the dispute can be settled
- wish to avoid a costly strike
2 Explain what preparations to make and what actions to take if a strike occurs.
Sample Sentences for Step 2
- If we find ourselves in a strike situation, all management and nonunion personnel will have to cooperate to serve to our customers.
- Between now and the time the strike may begin, please use every spare minute to fill orders, so we can minimize our backlog.
- Should the strike begin Monday morning, please report to work by 8:00 a.m. to receive a briefing on work assignments for the week.
- If a picket line forms in front of the main building, avoid any confrontation by entering through the loading docks. Come directly to the small auditorium for further instructions.
- In the unlikely event that the union does strike, simply report to work at the usual time without discussing issues with the strikers. Supervisors will make temporary adjustments in work assignments.
- Should a strike begin Friday night, many of you will have to assume new assignments on a temporary basis. Please let your supervisors know what other skills and experience you have, so you can work where you will be most effective.
- Please clear your desks of any current urgent projects before Friday night.
Sample Phrases for Step 2
- all management and nonunion personnel
- avoid confrontation by
- between now and the union deadline
- clear your desks of
- deal with current urgent projects
- do not discuss issues with the strikers
- enter through the loading docks
- for further instructions
- if we find ourselves in this situation
- if a picket line forms
- in the unlikely event that
- inform your supervisor of
- minimize our backlog
- please devote your time to
- please report to work by
- receive a briefing on
- should the strike take place
- temporary adjustments in work assignments
- temporary work assignments
- to provide service for our customers
- to provide uninterrupted service
- will have to cooperate
- work where you will be most effective
- your special skills may be very helpful
3 Reiterate your confidence in avoiding the strike, if appropriate, and express confidence in the readers' support should a strike occur.
Sample Sentences for Step 3
- John Doe and his staff are working around the clock to reach a settlement before the deadline, but we still must prepare. I know we can count on you to help us through this time.
- We are confident that the strike can be avoided, but we must still be prepared in case of setbacks. Your support will keep us afloat if the going gets rough.
- Our great staff has been the backbone of the company, and we know you can meet this challenge, should the strike become a reality.
- Even though a settlement is near, it is prudent for us to have a contingency plan. Your continued support and willingness to be flexible is one of our greatest strengths.
- We realize that in spite of our best efforts, the union may still strike. If they do, we will need your support to maintain the service that our customers have come to expect. We appreciate your continued loyalty.
Sample Phrases for Step 3
- appreciate your loyalty and support
- arbitration will continue
- are working around the clock
- are approaching a settlement
- can be satisfactorily resolved
- confident that the strike can be avoided
- consider it prudent to
- how this policy will affect you
- in spite of our best efforts
- in case of setbacks
- know that you can meet this challenge
- maintain service to our customers
- must still be prepared
- negotiations will continue
- questions you might have about
- reach a settlement before the deadline
- refer your questions to your immediate supervisor
- should you have questions
- should the strike become a reality
- thank you for your cooperation
- to have a contingency plan
- trust we can resolve the dispute
- your continued support
- your support will help us through this crisis