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  • Strike coming up...

    So at BHR the mental health staff are probably going to be having a strike. It seems like this may be somewhat serious. In the past we've had issues with union members keying people's cars and putting union stickers on people's cars, etc...

    I'm trying to head up our security efforts during this time.

    What I am planning to propose so far is this.

    -Security will video tape the picketing parties. (Signs will be posted notifying people of visual and audio monitoring.)

    -Security may shuttle picket-line crossers on and off the property with a company car with the rear windows covered for their safety.

    -Security will not converse with picketing people unless it is pertinant to the mission of a safe, rule/law abiding strike. (i.e. an SO can talk to them about the distance they need to stay from the property, but will not converse about union issues.)

    -Security will stop all inbound traffic to the facility to ensure the person has legitimate business at BHR.

    -Unless there is an immediate threat to health or life, security will only make their presence be known and videotape any rule violations. Criminal activity will obviously be reported to local authorities.

    Any changes anyone would suggest? Anything to add? This is my first time dealing with an issue such as this and I want to do it right. It appears we may also be hiring outside contract security S/Os, any suggestions on how they could/should be used?
    "Alright guys listen up, ya'll have probably heard this before, Jackson vs. Securiplex corporation; I am a private security officer, I have no State or governmental authority. I stand as an ordinary citizen. I have no right to; detain, interrogate or otherwise interfere with your personal property-... basically all that means is I'm a cop."-Officer Ernie
    "The Curve" 1998

  • #2
    What about tasers?

    Comment


    • #3
      In my experience, it has always helped to simply increase your presence during Strikes or any other emotionally charged events. Try bringing in extra guards, hire contract if you have to. It also helps if they are armed.

      If all else fails, hire the local PD.
      Craig

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by BHR Lawson View Post
        So at BHR the mental health staff are probably going to be having a strike. It seems like this may be somewhat serious. In the past we've had issues with union members keying people's cars and putting union stickers on people's cars, etc...

        I'm trying to head up our security efforts during this time.

        What I am planning to propose so far is this.

        -Security will video tape the picketing parties. (Signs will be posted notifying people of visual and audio monitoring.)

        -Security may shuttle picket-line crossers on and off the property with a company car with the rear windows covered for their safety.

        -Security will not converse with picketing people unless it is pertinant to the mission of a safe, rule/law abiding strike. (i.e. an SO can talk to them about the distance they need to stay from the property, but will not converse about union issues.)

        -Security will stop all inbound traffic to the facility to ensure the person has legitimate business at BHR.

        -Unless there is an immediate threat to health or life, security will only make their presence be known and videotape any rule violations. Criminal activity will obviously be reported to local authorities.

        Any changes anyone would suggest? Anything to add? This is my first time dealing with an issue such as this and I want to do it right. It appears we may also be hiring outside contract security S/Os, any suggestions on how they could/should be used?
        WARNING! CONTACT CORPORATE COUNSEL IMMEDIATELY - STRIKE OPERATIONS FOR SECURITY ARE EXTREMELY TRICKY! Many, many security people and the organizations they work for have come to serious grief over seemingly reasonable measures taken during a strike.

        The first item you mention, in particular, HAS BEEN FOUND TO VIOLATE WORKER LABOR RIGHTS, and a couple of others are possibly problematic.

        I cannot emphasize this enough: DO NOTHING THAT KNOWLEDGEABLE COUNSEL DOES NOT KNOW ABOUT AND APPROVE PRIOR TO THE STRIKE.
        Last edited by SecTrainer; 10-09-2007, 03:07 PM.
        "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

        "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

        "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

        "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

        Comment


        • #5
          I would strongly second the advice given by SecTrainer. One other thing that raises a red flag for me is the video taping of the picketing parties. As a general rule, any legal activity (such as peaceful picketing) by the parties should not be photographed or video taped as this may be construed as intimidation. It is generally OK to photograph or tape illegal activities (such as acts of vandalism.)

          Again, your entire strike plan should be reviewed and approved by legal counsel. You should also meet with your local law enforcement agency in advance of the strike and review your plan with them.
          Last edited by Silva Consultants; 10-09-2007, 03:25 PM.
          Michael A. Silva
          Silva Consultants

          Comment


          • #6
            Okay, so here's what I'm wondering, if it's so bad to video tape picketing, why do so many "Strike Security" companies advertise it as one of their main selling points?

            At various strikes, protests, picketing, etc... that Ive seen, Ive seen someone (Police, Security, management, etc..) video taping the event, which I would have assumed would have been good for documentation to show that we are not being rough with them, and would also show any illegal acts they commit on the property.

            We at BHR have already have a CCTV system which has never raised any flags in the past.

            I doubt the management is going to seek corporate security counsel, they are; however; communicating with our attorney to see what is a good and not good idea. Everything I bring up will go through them first obviously.

            What I'm looking for is more suggestions here that I haven't thought of.

            We have kicked around the armed idea in the past, and it's been decided we will likely be only dealing with unarmed S/O's. BHR is too touchy feely to have guns around really.
            "Alright guys listen up, ya'll have probably heard this before, Jackson vs. Securiplex corporation; I am a private security officer, I have no State or governmental authority. I stand as an ordinary citizen. I have no right to; detain, interrogate or otherwise interfere with your personal property-... basically all that means is I'm a cop."-Officer Ernie
            "The Curve" 1998

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by BHR Lawson View Post
              Any changes anyone would suggest? Anything to add? This is my first time dealing with an issue such as this and I want to do it right. It appears we may also be hiring outside contract security S/Os, any suggestions on how they could/should be used?
              I'd use the contract guards for the strike line, transports, etc. Use the in-house guards for interior duties. That way, after the strike is over, you don't have to worry so much about union thugs out to get even for being arrested for vandalism or whatever.
              "Striking terrific terror in the hearts of criminals everywhere" Since 1977.

              Comment


              • #8
                How about looking into seeing if the union provides a general phone number for employees to call. I have seen (heard)these recorded messages used to advise strikers of events planned for the day or week. We were able to learn in advance one day of a planned march and had staff ready.

                Of course this was 300 years before newer instant messaging methods....

                Are your staff aware of the need for calm interactions with the odd instigator, oh, uhm, I mean strikers.
                Quote me as saying I was mis-quoted.
                Groucho Marx

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by BHR Lawson View Post
                  Okay, so here's what I'm wondering, if it's so bad to video tape picketing, why do so many "Strike Security" companies advertise it as one of their main selling points?

                  At various strikes, protests, picketing, etc... that Ive seen, Ive seen someone (Police, Security, management, etc..) video taping the event, which I would have assumed would have been good for documentation to show that we are not being rough with them, and would also show any illegal acts they commit on the property.

                  We at BHR have already have a CCTV system which has never raised any flags in the past.

                  I doubt the management is going to seek corporate security counsel, they are; however; communicating with our attorney to see what is a good and not good idea. Everything I bring up will go through them first obviously.

                  What I'm looking for is more suggestions here that I haven't thought of.

                  We have kicked around the armed idea in the past, and it's been decided we will likely be only dealing with unarmed S/O's. BHR is too touchy feely to have guns around really.

                  The type of video recording I was referring to involves the use of fixed or handheld cameras specifically used to record strike activity. I was not referring to any type of permanent CCTV systems that your facility may use for regular security purposes.

                  I am also not saying that you shouldn't record; only that you should proceed with caution and under the advice of legal counsel. There have been a few court cases where employers have gotten in trouble because they recorded peaceful strike activity. (See http://lw.bna.com/lw/19981013/971689.htm)
                  Michael A. Silva
                  Silva Consultants

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I have dealt with a lot of strikes & lockouts. The unionized employees of my downtown hotel were locked out for 3 years in the early 1990's & for 101 days in 2003. Our lawyers advised us TO video tape the picketers. The tape was then used to show how the picketing was effecting the business & was used to get injunctions limiting the number of picketers allowed.

                    I disagree about not talking with the picketers. The "stay friendly but not friends" rule should apply. You'd be surprised how much information the employees tell you. Remember though I'm In-House & this might be an advantage in this case.
                    I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
                    Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thank you for this article, I will bring it up to management. I think we have reason to believe there is going to be misconduct. Some employees have brought up a "hit-list" (for line crossing employees), there have been previous property damages relating to union activities, and there has been an increasing fear from our employees, fearing property damage.

                      "The Board has also held that a reasonable, objective justification for video surveillance mitigates its tendency to coerce. For example, an employer's legitimate security interests may justify its use of surveillance cameras, even if they happen to capture protected activities"

                      "Similarly, if an employer has a "reasonable basis for anticipating picket line misconduct," then its employees have less reason to fear that the purpose of videotaping their protected activities is to aid in later taking reprisals against them."

                      " Gathering evidence for use in legal proceedings also constitutes a sufficient justification for videotaping protected activities. "

                      I think if I can get all of this documented, it may support us in using video technology to assist in protecting our property.
                      "Alright guys listen up, ya'll have probably heard this before, Jackson vs. Securiplex corporation; I am a private security officer, I have no State or governmental authority. I stand as an ordinary citizen. I have no right to; detain, interrogate or otherwise interfere with your personal property-... basically all that means is I'm a cop."-Officer Ernie
                      "The Curve" 1998

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Prepare for the union to do the same thing. Anything you do that could be misconstrued will also be videotaped.
                        Keep in mind the union will probably remind the employees of the long history of security being used as intimidators/thugs (many union members were even killed by company thugs back in the bad old days) and will be watching to see if you act like that.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by craig333 View Post
                          Prepare for the union to do the same thing. Anything you do that could be misconstrued will also be videotaped.
                          Keep in mind the union will probably remind the employees of the long history of security being used as intimidators/thugs (many union members were even killed by company thugs back in the bad old days) and will be watching to see if you act like that.
                          This is exactly why I am supporting a very "hands-off" response. We wont be out there with batons and tear gas. We will be out there simply to observe and report.

                          Like I said, I am proposing that our S/Os do not even communicate with the strikers unless there is a legitimate reason for communication (such as summoning aid).

                          Rather than have S/Os standing constantly at the picket line, I would rather have them continuously moving about the property to ensure no one has slipped by and is causing harm.
                          "Alright guys listen up, ya'll have probably heard this before, Jackson vs. Securiplex corporation; I am a private security officer, I have no State or governmental authority. I stand as an ordinary citizen. I have no right to; detain, interrogate or otherwise interfere with your personal property-... basically all that means is I'm a cop."-Officer Ernie
                          "The Curve" 1998

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            A few things you haven't mentioned - from Fischer & Green, Introduction to Security - pp 436-437. In particular note item #8:

                            1. Recover keys from all striking employees who have them.

                            2. Suspend validity of regular identification cards for the duration; issue special cards to employees who will not be striking.

                            3. Check all fire and intrusion alarms and sprinkler systems after employees walk out.

                            4. Move property that might be damaged away from the perimeter. Consider whether windows near the perimeter need to be boarded or otherwise protected. If possible, remove items at the perimeter that could be used as missiles.

                            5. Make sure all security personnel know where the property lines are and remain within it while not escorting employees across the picket line.

                            6. Notify any vendors or service personnel who normally serve the facility, find out if they will cross the picket line and make arrangements for other services if they will not do so.

                            7. Minimize entry/exits being used to the minimum absolutely required by fire regulations, etc. Secure these as those regulations permit.

                            8. "Guards are not to be armed, nor are guards to photograph, tape or report on the conduct of the strikers. The only reports will relate to injury to personnel, or damage to property."

                            9. You can also possibly arrange for employees who are working to park off-site and rent a shuttle bus to bring them on-site.

                            I would also add a few:

                            1. Discharge any patients who can medically be discharged.

                            2. Curtail or relocate day treatment services if possible. E.g. - 3 days a week instead of 5.

                            3. If there is serious concern about illicit strike activity, consider hiring several third-party TRAINED strike observers. These are NOT security personnel, incidentally, but exactly what their name implies. They know what to observe and how to do it legally.
                            Last edited by SecTrainer; 10-09-2007, 07:26 PM.
                            "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

                            "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

                            "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

                            "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by BHR Lawson View Post
                              This is exactly why I am supporting a very "hands-off" response. We wont be out there with batons and tear gas. We will be out there simply to observe and report.

                              Like I said, I am proposing that our S/Os do not even communicate with the strikers unless there is a legitimate reason for communication (such as summoning aid).

                              Rather than have S/Os standing constantly at the picket line, I would rather have them continuously moving about the property to ensure no one has slipped by and is causing harm.
                              See item #8 above. Security personnel are NOT to be "out there to observe and report", except in the event of injury or property damage.

                              I realize this seems very contrary to your conception of security, but a strike is a very different animal security-wise than a facility that is in normal operations. Please believe me, there have been TRUCKLOADS of cases arising out of the actions of security personnel during strikes...many of which seemed perfectly reasonable and permissible at the time.

                              This is a totally different game, and many of the "normal" security operations either don't apply, or must be modified.
                              Last edited by SecTrainer; 10-09-2007, 07:29 PM.
                              "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

                              "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

                              "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

                              "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

                              Comment

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