Managing a Domestic Corporate Crisis

Problem: In the midst of its first labor dispute in decades, the board of directors decided to sell the company. The entire town – as well as surrounding communities and the state were torn apart by the labor strike. As a result, the possible sale of the company was not to be publicly disclosed to anyone.

Action: Fairfax was brought in to help manage the security of ongoing business during the labor dispute and to support the search for a buyer. Given the rising threat level, Fairfax provided protection to several key executives and their families. We also conducted a complete security assessment and provided training for executives and managers, most of whom did not know about the possible sale of the company. Fairfax operated a 24/7 crisis management center, thereby allowing company personnel to stay focused on the tasks at hand.

Result: Word of the possible sale did not leak for more than four months, even though many potential buyers and their advisors had been contacted. When the sale was discovered, the town exploded. The CEO and his family experienced threats and public demonstrations against his leadership. Ultimately the strike was settled on favorable terms. In response to the public uproar, the board withdrew the company from the market the night before the successful bidder was to be announced. No one was injured during the strike, and no serious incidents of product or facility vandalism occurred.

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