Preparing for Industrial Action


We will be better prepared for any dispute if the workforce is already well-informed about the issue(s).

  • Keep noticecases up-to-date.
  • Give leaflets and newsletters to your workmates. Download material from
  • Speak to people at work.
  • Make sure that they feel comfortable to ask questions and give their views.
  • Take concerns seriously; provide answers, even if means going away and finding out.
  • If you can, produce a leaflet or newsletter for staff in your workplace.
  • RMT provides training and advice on how to do this.
  • Give feedback to your branch and the Regional Council on your workmates’ views. This enables RMT to produce materials that address their concerns.
  • Keep recruiting to RMT and keep membership information accurate and up-to-date (see separate ‘Tips’ sheet on ‘recruiting and keeping members’).
  • Go to meetings of your branch, grade and Regional Council, and encourage other members to do so too.


As well as all the above ...

  • Tell everyone at work about the ballot.
  • Remind everyone of the issues.
  • Report what happened at talks; explain why talks alone will not resolve the issue.
  • Offer reassurance to workers eg. those on probation, who are nervous about taking industrial action.
  • Note any incidents of intimidation or pressure not to vote yes or to take action; report them to the union.
  • When you get your ballot paper, take it to work and show people how to fill it in.
  • If any member does not receive a ballot paper when others do, take their details and inform the RMT helpline (0800-376-3706) immediately.
  • Continually remind members to post their ballot paper in good time.
  • If the union sets up a strike committee, go to its meetings and/or keep in contact with committee members.
  • If you need help, ask! Your branch, level 2/functional reps and Regional Council should all be able to help.


As well as all the above ...

  • Speak to everyone at work – again!
  • Depending on your workplace, it may be effective to get people together in the mess room or canteen for an ad hoc discussion; or hold a meeting with a visiting union official outside the gates; or go round and talk to staff where they are working. If you have a big meeting, have smaller, more informal discussions too.
  • Explain exactly how the action works and what people need to do.
  • You are unlikely to be able to do all this on one day! Start talking to people systematically as soon as the details of the action are announced.
  • Check that members’ details on the union’s membership list are up-to-date and correct. Phone in any corrections to RMT’s Membership Department (020-7387-4771).
  • Make sure there are notices on every workplace noticeboard with details of the action, plus other material about the dispute. Download stuff from
  • Talk to any non-members or members of other unions who you might persuade to join the action, or at least to minimise their disruption of it. Show them copies of advice from their unions if this is helpful.
  • If managers ask staff whether they will be taking part in the action, then staff do not have to answer. If you do answer, management will be better equipped to minimise the impact of the action.
  • Encourage members to get more actively involved eg. by picketing (see separate ‘Tips’ sheet on ‘effective picketing’).