picketing

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Picketing

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.

Cross-references

Labor Law; Labor Union.

picketing

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.

picketing

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.