In a labour dispute, the overriding consideration is to prevent injury and property damage by maintaining order. This is accomplished through the proper deployment of available resources and the ability to rapidly respond.
In a strike situation, Private Investigators will be called upon to supply video evidence for both the injunction process and any criminal activity that may occur during a labour dispute. Security will be utilized to de-escalate personal conflicts, picket line disturbances, and violent confrontations with employees or supplemental/replacement workers.
Protection is best achieved by taking a neutral position during labor disputes. Actions taken during a strike can result in a civil suit for damages. With proper documentation of actions resulting in damages or injury, a union can be held liable for the actions of its members.
Developing a competent, highly skilled and reliable complement of strike response personnel begins prior to the initial hire and is a process that CIS takes quite seriously. Our reputation is contingent on the quality of our employees and our due diligence in this regard is steadfast. Training and education play a significant role in our employee development process but prior to that, we undertake a vigorous pre-employment screening process to ensure a successful hire. All of our strike response security personnel and supervisors meet and exceed the training standards as per National Standard CAN/CGSB-133.1-2008 and the PSISA, 2005.
The benefits of utilizing CIS strike response personnel include:
- Reduce the risk of injury by defusing challenging behaviour before it escalates.
- Minimize the risk of potential liability by decreasing the likelihood of physical interactions.
- Alleviate the stress and anxiety associated with confusion or uncertainty in crisis moments.
- Comply with legislative mandates and regulatory/accreditation guidelines.
- Create and maintain a safe, caring, and respectful environment for picketers, management personnel, temporary workers, facility populations, and the general public.
- Support by personnel who are empathic, compassionate, and respectful.
Our contingent of strike response personnel includes:
- Picket Line Monitors
- Picket Line Liaisons
- Security Guards
- Injunction Investigators
- Evidence Handlers
- Mobile Escorts
- Strike Coordinators
- Executive Protection Security
- Professional Drivers
Picket Line Monitors (PLMs)
Picket Line Monitors (PLMs) are responsible for monitoring picket activities at all potential sites that are involved in the labour dispute. PLMs are trained in conflict de-escalation techniques and act as a buffer between the company, the union and the general public. Picket Line Monitors report potential problems and work to persuade union members to picket in accordance with provincial law, injunctions and or picket line protocols.
- PLMs are assigned based on picketing activity.
- PLMs assist non-striking employees to cross the picket line.
- PLMs are tasked with establishing good working relationships with the Union’s Picket Captain in order to support resolution of issues.
- PLMs encourage the Picket Captain to observe agreed upon protocols in an effort to minimize delays.
Picket Line Liaisons (PLLs)
Picket Line Liaisons (PLLs) are your company representatives familiar with the employees who are involved in the labour disruption. PLLs receive CIS training in advance of the strike regarding their roles and responsibilities and picket line dynamics. Picket Line Liaisons help to facilitate line crossings and provide a company presence should a union member want to talk to a company representative.
Picket Line Liaisons are responsible for:
- Providing a management presence at a picket location.
- Acting as the site “eyes and ears”.
- Observing activity and reporting activity and incidents to the Labour Disruption Command Centre.
- Determining and requesting site resource requirements (ie, asking the Labour Disruption Command Centre to dispatch a Picket Line Monitor and/or site security if necessary).
- Working closely with site security.
- Performing the duties of a Picket Line Monitor if necessary.
Security Guards are licensed, uniformed CIS personnel tasked with maintaining order, securing the premises, and assisting with safe passage of persons and materials across the picket line. CIS Strike Security Guards are trained to de-escalate personal conflicts, picket line disturbances, and violent confrontations. All of our strike response security guards and supervisors meet and exceed the training standards as per National Standard CAN/CGSB-133.1-2008 and Provincial and Territorial statutory regulations.
CIS Injunction Investigators are licensed, plain-clothed private investigators that gather and supply video evidence for both the injunction process and any criminal activity that may occur during a labour dispute. With proper documentation of actions resulting in damages or injury, union members can be held liable for any criminal actions or illegal picket line activities breaching workplace policies. CIS Injunction Investigators are well trained and equipped with the technical expertise required to gather the video evidence to support civil, criminal and or injunction proceedings where required.
An identifiable person must always have the physical custody of a piece of evidence. In practice, this means that a member of the security team will take charge of a piece of evidence and document its collection for storage in a secure place. These transactions, and every succeeding transaction between the collection of the evidence and its appearance in court, should be completely documented chronologically in order to withstand legal challenges to the authenticity of the evidence. CIS Evidence Handlers are tasked with the responsibility of ensuring the integrity and admissibility of your labour dispute evidence by adhering to the rules of evidence collection, documentation, handling, storage and transportation. In short, they are masters of maintaining the continuity of evidence that is demanded by courts of law and arbitrators.
Mobile Escort Teams (METs)
Mobile Escort Teams (METs) consist of one Injunction Investigator and one Security Guard positioned together in a motor vehicle. METs are highly effective in providing rapid response in both emergency and emerging situations. CIS typically recommends the deployment of Mobile Escort Teams for labour disruptions that involve the following scenarios:
- There are multiple sites involved in the labour dispute.
- Required coverage encompasses an expansive area.
- There is the potential for secondary picketing.
- High expectations of unruly picket line behaviour.
- Management and non-union staff have residences close to the involved locations.
- When product shipping continues and trucks and or personnel require monitoring for safety reasons.
- When there exists the possibility of needing to respond to customers, suppliers and other supporting places of business.
CIS Strike Coordinators are expert and seasoned security personnel tasked with the responsibility of overseeing the CIS strike command centre and operations. Strike Coordinators manage and schedule CIS strike response personnel, liaise with client-appointed representatives and the police, generate daily reports and briefings, ensure the proper collection and documentation of evidence, and provide testimony when required.
Executive Protection Security
Executive protection (EP), also known as close personal protection, refers to security measures taken to ensure the safety of individuals who may be exposed to elevated personal risk. During a strike or other labour dispute, CIS Executive Protection Security provides your management personnel, executives and their families with the assurance of increased security without compromising their privacy. Our discrete EP Security professionals are trained to identify potential threats or issues and to mitigate those risks.
CIS has a corps of professional drivers experienced in labour disputes and picket line crossings. Our coach bus, van and truck drivers, and railway engineers hold all required licenses and certifications, and driver’s abstracts are available.
Our drivers work under the direction of a CIS project logistics coordinator and fulfill the transportation requirements and obligations as identified in your business continuity and contingency plan documents. Our drivers are available to transport managers and other non-striking personnel, replacement workers, and materials across the picket line.
In addition to picket line crossings, CIS drivers are available to provide short and long haul materials transport to and from designated suppliers, customers, warehouses, and cross docking locations.