9 things a business should do – and 6 things you absolutely can’t do – to help ensure a strike or picket remains peaceful. Excerpted from the new book The Security Manager’s Guide to Mishaps.
Apart from a strike and picket action by a small group of employees against a company to achieve some wage increase or even to gain or retain some benefit, we must take into consideration that other demonstrations may take place that may affect a business enterprise.
Groups or crowds that could assemble to show or even to picket a company due to some business practice that they feel offends them or others ought to be handled in a similar manner as a strike incident. An illustration of this such activity could include issues such as offensive hiring practices, sexual or age discrimination or harassment practices, animal rights (retailers that sell furs or animal products), or conduct considered abhorrent to certain religious groups (e.g., abortion clinics). If management cannot resolve the problem, the police should be requested. In the event the occurrence causes a business disruption or if perhaps their presence is illegal, picketers can be removed. Caution and discretion in tactics should be considered if the company hopes to avoid bad press and publicity.
Under various federal laws and sanctions, when a labor violation does actually occur, an organization may seek monetary damages, criminal sanctions, injunctive relief (judgment of unfair labor practices), and disciplinary actions against individuals or the union as a group.
However, concerning a demonstration besides a labor issue, a citizen has the legal right to peaceful assembly under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. This amendment protects the right to picket, whether or not the point is actually a labor dispute, civil rights, or some other demonstrations. Generally, picketing remains safe and secure after it is to get a lawful purpose, conducted within an orderly manner, and publicizes a grievance of some type.
Listed below are the generally accepted rules that control and regulate walkouts and strike actions through the country.
The authority to Picket
Pickets (strikers) have the legal right to picket, demonstrate, and hold meetings provided that such activity does not violate local, state, or federal law.
Pickets will not need to be employees of the strike security. They might be other union members acting in sympathy using the striking union, or friends and family members in the strikers. However, they may be subjected to exactly the same restrictions and laws governing the striking union members.
Pickets have the legal right to picket provided that it will not produce a disruption of any of the functions or objectives in the business; they could not affect business operations.
Picketing is legal as long as it will not limit or deny access of employees, customers, visitors, vehicles, deliveries, etc., for the business and any of its components. Blocking anyone or any vehicle from entering or leaving the company property, physically or by threatening behavior, is illegal. Strikers causing injury to any vehicle crossing the picket cctrqn while wanting to go into the property from the facility commit the crime of criminal mischief, reckless or criminal damage to property, or criminal tampering with intent to cause damage or substantial inconvenience.
In addition, strikers causing injury to other employees or persons wishing to go into the striking premises may commit the crime of assault. If an implement can be used and results in damage or injury, the criminal charge will likely be elevated to some higher degree. Look into the local or state laws that affect your employer for your correct statute warranted. Regarding any violation from the pickets or perhaps the organizers of the picketing action that affects the organization operation, causes adverse publicity, or comes with an effect on the goodwill in the corporation, management may seek an injunction in the courtroom requiring picketers to cease and desist. Videotapes and private observations reduced to sworn statements may be needed to bolster the initiation of the criminal or civil litigation.