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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.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


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.

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.


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.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006
References in periodicals archive ?
While individuals continued their journies into the labour movement, there was no sustained activity on the scale of the mass pickets. One attempt that continued out of the strike was the Right to Strike Movement, which published a series of booklets--beginning with Artistic--on important strikes and stressed the need to continually fight for the right to strike.
In the final analysis, the grumbling UAW members who insisted on 25 February 1966 that the mass picket should have continued, arrests or not, might have been articulating the only strategy that had even a remote possibility of keeping the women's jobs unionized.
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.
Dumfries and Galloway police chiefs are steeling themselves for a mass picket at Stranraer's ferry port tomorrow night.
But the Government's determination will draw thousands of pro-hunt supporters down to Brighton tomorrow for a mass picket of the centre.
Mass pickets and closing down supply lines were the more traditional approach.
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.
(70.) Mass pickets forced the closure of the Saltley Coke Depot, Birmingham, in February 1972.
LABOUR Prime Minister James Callaghan called for Arthur Scargill to be "warned off" after he led a series of mass pickets in the infamous Grunwick dispute, according to the official papers made public today.
The unpublished results emerged from indepth interviews with nearly 40 activists who had participated in a range of activities, including traditional marches, fox-hunt sabotages, anticapitalist street parties, environmental direct actions and industrial mass pickets.