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The presence at an employer's business of one or more employees and/or other persons who are publicizing a labor dispute, influencing employees or customers to withhold their work or business, respectively, or showing a union's desire to represent employees; picketing is usually accompanied by patrolling with signs.


Labor Law; Labor Union.


n. standing or parading near a business or government office usually with signs of protest or claims in labor disputes or public policy controversies (peace marches to pro- or anti-abortion advocates). Picketing is constitutionally guaranteed as free speech, but in some cases it may be limited by court order to prevent physical combat, blocking of entrances or threats to the public safety.


from the French for ‘pike’, this describes the practice of placing strikers between the worker and his place of work to stop him coming off strike or to encourage him to go on strike. Almost a century of oscillating legislation controls the practice in the UK. Generally, it is permitted if carried out peacefully and with a view to communicating information or persuading persons and is carried out at a person's own place of work. This latter phrase prevents picketing outside the target's garden and restrained the flying picket, someone who would go anywhere to help out workers in a strike even though he himself might not have any dispute with the target. Secondary picketing, where suppliers of the target become themselves targets, is prohibited. While the law generally does not prohibit peaceful picketing, it has not created a right to picket; a picket standing in front of a lorry and obstructing it peacefully to communicate with the driver commits the offence of obstruction. Picketing also must be in accordance with the GOLDEN FORMULAE. Many pickets are not illegal simply for that reason. A code of practice issued by the Secretary of State indicates that there should be no more than six pickets at any entrance or exit and that frequently fewer will be appropriate. Public Order powers may be engaged if more than 20 persons are present.
References in periodicals archive ?
By November, mass pickets of four hundred people added to political pressure and helped secure a first contract settlement.
Also, when the government failed to prosecute after the Oshawa injunction was challenged by a mass picket, it was denounced by many newspaper editors with articles such as "The Force of Evil" and "Downpayment on Anarchy.
Customers, community activists and labor leaders will rally and conduct mass picket lines to support the struggle by striking supermarket workers to retain their health and retirement benefits.
Dumfries and Galloway police chiefs are steeling themselves for a mass picket at Stranraer's ferry port tomorrow night.
As to the threat by Keith Harris to lead a mass picket of Carlton and Granada, I would say to the police, be fair but firm.
The unions decided to press ahead with the mass picket in Leamington, despite Ford's announcement on Friday that 1,500 jobs were to go at its Dagenham plant in Essex.
Transport and General Workers' Union steward Gerald Parry said: "We have had a good relationship with the police from day one, when we had a mass picket outside the factory gates.
More than 8,000 striking miners used the ground for their meetings, listening to the passionate pleas of Will John to mass picket and stop the blacklegs.
But the Government's determination will draw thousands of pro-hunt supporters down to Brighton tomorrow for a mass picket of the centre.
Pits in the Huddersfield area were involved in the dispute and there were mass picKets at Emley Moor and ParK Mill, but never the violence seen elsewhere.
But while there was no repeat of last year's mass pickets and marches from students the city was home to peaceful protests.
The law no longer permits mass pickets and if people don't want to strike they can't be cajoled or forced to do so.