Picketing (protest)

Picketing (protest)

Picketing is a form of protest in which people (called picketers) [http://dictionary.reference.com/search?r=2&q=picketer] congregate outside a place of work or location where an event is taking place. Often, this is done in an attempt to dissuade others from going in ("crossing the picket line"), but it can also be done to draw public attention to a cause. Pickets normally endeavor to be non-violent. It can have a number of aims, but is generally to put pressure on the party targeted to meet particular demands. This pressure is achieved by harming the business through loss of customers and negative publicity, or by discouraging or preventing workers from entering the site and thereby preventing the business from operating normally.

Picketing is a common tactic used by trade unions during strikes, who will try to prevent dissident members of the union, members of other unions and ununionised workers from working. Those who cross the picket line and work despite the strike are known pejoratively as scabs.

Types of picket


Secondary picketing is where people picket locations that are not directly connected to the issue of protest. This would include retail stores that sell products by the company being picketed against, and the private homes of the company's management. Secondary pickets often do not have the same civil law protection as primary pickets.

Another tactic is to organize highly mobile pickets who can turn up at any of a company's locations on short notice. These flying pickets are particularly effective against multifacility businesses which could otherwise pursue legal prior restraint and shift operations among facilities if the location of the picket were known with certainty ahead of time.

Picketing is also used by pressure groups across the political spectrum. Picketing has also been employed for religious purposes such as the Westboro Baptist Church who picket a variety of stores or events that they consider to be sinful.

Disruptive picketing

Disruptive picketing is where pickets use force, or the threat of force, or physical obstruction, to injure or intimidate or otherwise interfere with either staff, service users, or customers. [ [http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0012-7086(198111)2%3A1981%3A5%3C853%3ALVKATI%3E2.0.CO%3B2-F Leedom v. Kyne and the Implementation of a National Labor Policy] , James F. Wyatt III, Duke Law Journal, Vol. 1981, No. 5 (Nov., 1981), pp. 853-877]

In the United States, picketing of abortion providers is a common form of pro-life protest; over eleven thousand incidents were either reported to, or obtained by, the National Abortion Federation in 2007. [cite web | title = NAF Violence and Disruption Statistics | publisher = National Abortion Federation | url = http://www.prochoice.org/pubs_research/publications/downloads/about_abortion/violence_statistics.pdf

Picketing and the law

Picketing, as long as it does not cause obstruction to a highway or intimidation, is legal in many countries and in line with freedom of assembly laws, though many countries do have restrictions on the use of picketing.

In the UK the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 gives protection under civil law for pickets who are acting in connection with an industrial dispute at or near their workplace who are using their picketing to peacefully obtain or communicate information or peacefully persuading any person to work or abstain from working. However, many employers have recently taken to gaining injunctions to limit the effect of picketing outside their work place. The granting of injunctions tends to be based on the accusation of intimidation or in general on non-peaceful behaviour and the claim that numbers of the pickers are not from the affected work place. [ [http://www.yourrights.org.uk/your-rights/chapters/the-right-of-peaceful-protest/picketing/picketing.shtml Picketing] , The Liberty guide to human rights, 11 January 2005, Liberty] Historically, picketing was banned by a Liberal government in the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1871 but then decriminalised by a Conservative government with the Conspiracy and Protection of Property Act 1875. [ [http://www.unionhistory.info/timeline/1850_1880.php Timeline:1850-1880] , TUC history online, Professor Mary Davis, Centre for Trade Union Studies, London Metropolitan University]

In the US any strike activity was hard to organise in the early 1900s, however picketing became more common after the Norris-LaGuardia Act of 1932, which limited the ability of employers to gain injunctions to stop strikes, and further legislation which supported the right to organise for the unions. Mass picketing and secondary picketing was however outlawed by the The Taft-Hartley Labor Act (1947). [ [http://www.thehistorychannel.co.uk/site/search/search.php?word=PICKETING&enc=37490 PICKETING] , The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, Columbia University Press.] Some kinds of pickets are constitutionally protected. [Thornhill v. Alabama] [Other cases cited at Free speech zone#Notable incidents and court proceedings]

Notes and references

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Поможем написать реферат

Look at other dictionaries:

  • picketing — Under Section 20 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992, trade union immunity does not apply in the event of secondary action; i.e. action other than against the employer in question. However under Section 220 of the Act …   Law dictionary

  • picketing — Ⅰ. picket UK US /ˈpɪkɪt/ noun [C] HR, WORKPLACE ► (also picket line) a group of people who stand outside an organization s building holding signs to protest against something. The people who protest are often employees who disagree with the… …   Financial and business terms

  • Protest — This article is about public demonstrations. For sea protests before a notary public, see Sea protest. For the Oxford based pro animal testing group, see Pro Test. March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom A protest is an expression of objection,… …   Wikipedia

  • protest — Synonyms and related words: affirm, affirmance, affirmation, allegation, allege, announce, announcement, annunciate, annunciation, argue, assert, assertion, assever, asseverate, asseveration, aver, averment, avouch, avouchment, avow, avowal, bad… …   Moby Thesaurus

  • picketing — Synonyms and related words: beef, bitch, boycott, challenge, complaint, compunction, confinement, demonstration, demur, demurrer, dismemberment, estrapade, exception, expostulation, galleys, grievance, grievance committee, hard labor, howl,… …   Moby Thesaurus

  • picketing —    Standing or marching near a business or office, usually with protest signs or banners, as part of a labor dispute or political controversy. Picketing is constitutionally guaranteed as free speech, but may be limited by court order to prevent… …   Business law dictionary

  • picketing — n. act of participating in a picket line; standing or marching near a business or government office with signs of protest pick·et || pɪkɪt n. patrol of strikers; watch, escort; guardian, keeper; pointed peg, spike v. strike, protest,… …   English contemporary dictionary

  • protest — I (New American Roget s College Thesaurus) n. objection, complaint, remonstrance, contradiction, disapproval, expostulation, protestation. v. t. object, remonstrate, complain, contradict, repudiate, default; declare (see affirmation). See dissent …   English dictionary for students

  • 1968 Democratic National Convention protest activity — The 1968 Democratic National Convention had a significant amount of protest activity. In 1967, protest groups had been promising to come to Chicago and disrupt the convention, and the city promised to maintain law and order. For eight days,… …   Wikipedia

  • fuel protest —    A series of fuel protests were held in the United Kingdom in 2000 over the high level of duty payable on diesel and petrol, involving the owners of small businesses (in the road haulage and other industries) and farmers. Their direct action… …   Glossary of UK Government and Politics

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”