Case study: Labor dispute crisis (RiskControl)


The challenge

A large industrial multinational company finds itself in a major labor dispute in Asia one day before Christmas’ eve. The immediate situation is that the Chairman and his GM (who has been physically assaulted by the local staff) are holed-up in hotels, the production facilities are controlled by unsatisfied local workers, the authorities feel that this is strictly a labor dispute between workers and a “big foreign company” and that, thus, their active presence is not really required. The location is a very large city and its surrounding area.

Our approach

A team of negotiators is on the ground within 24 hours and makes contact with the workers’ representatives as well as the authorities to assess the situation. An action plan is presented to the client forthwith, accepted and put into action. The objectives are to bring the client and its workers to a negotiation table while regaining physical control of the offices and production facilities together with a more visible presence of the authorities while avoiding negative Media coverage. This is achieved within one week. AGR officers’ presence is maintained for a few months after this to ensure that nothing of the sort happens again and local security companies are contracted to ensure the physical integrity of the client’s premises. During the talks with the workers, one interesting nugget of information is unearthed: most of the problems came from a badly prepared lay-off program, brainchild of a local HR Director who had been hired by the client…..against AGR’s recommendation pursuant to a background screening performed close to a year earlier.

The impact

A minimum financial lost, all things considered, a PR nightmare avoided, workers re-assured that they would be treated fairly in the future and the senior management’s awareness as to how best deal with local workers properly heightened.

What the client valued

First and foremost, the reaction time sending people on site which, in this case and considering the time of the year, was exceptionally efficient. Also, the diligence with which contact was established with the aggrieved workers and the local authorities while reassuring the foreign senior management of the company in-country. Finally, our negotiation capabilities which allowed for the company’s activities to quickly resume. Last but not least, the client acknowledged the mistake made in hiring an incompetent HR staff against our written advice which increased our credibility where the client was concerned.

<< Back