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9 things an organization must do – and Six things you absolutely can not do – to help ensure a strike or picket remains peaceful. Excerpted from the new book The Security Manager’s Guide to Disasters.

Besides a strike and picket action by a small group of employees against a company to achieve some wage increase or gain or retain some benefit, we must take into account that other demonstrations may take place that may affect a business enterprise.

Groups or crowds which could assemble to show or picket a company as a result of some business practice they feel offends them or others should be handled in the same manner being a strike incident. An illustration of this such activity could include issues like offensive hiring practices, sexual or age discrimination or harassment practices, animal rights (retail shops that sell furs or animal products), or conduct considered abhorrent to particular religious groups (e.g., abortion clinics). If management cannot resolve the problem, the police needs to be requested. If the occurrence causes a business disruption or if perhaps their presence is illegal, picketers can be removed. Caution and discretion in tactics must be considered when the company hopes in order to avoid bad press and publicity.

Under various federal laws and sanctions, each time a labor violation does in reality occur, a company may seek monetary damages, criminal sanctions, injunctive relief (judgment of unfair labor practices), and disciplinary actions against individuals or perhaps the union being a group.

However, concerning a demonstration besides a labor issue, a citizen has the authority to peaceful assembly beneath the First Amendment from the U.S. Constitution. This amendment protects the right to picket, whether or not the reason is a labor dispute, civil rights, or some other demonstrations. Generally, picketing remains safe and secure after it is for any lawful purpose, conducted within an orderly manner, and publicizes a grievance of some kind.

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 right to picket, demonstrate, and hold meetings provided that such activity fails to violate local, state, or federal law.

Pickets need not be employees of the strike security company. They could be other union members acting in sympathy using the striking union, or relatives and buddies in the strikers. However, they may be subjected to the same restrictions and laws governing the striking union members.

Pickets have the authority to picket so long as it does not cause a disruption of any of the functions or objectives from the business; they may not affect business operations.

Picketing is legal as long as it does not limit or deny access of employees, customers, visitors, vehicles, deliveries, etc., towards the business and any of the components. Blocking anyone or any vehicle from entering or leaving the organization property, physically or by threatening behavior, is illegal. Strikers causing harm to any vehicle crossing the picket cctrqn while attempting to enter in the property of the facility commit the crime of criminal mischief, reckless or criminal injury to property, or criminal tampering with intent to result in 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 causes damage or injury, the criminal charge will likely be elevated to a higher degree. Look at the local or state laws that apply to your employer for that correct statute warranted. Regarding any violation by the pickets or the organizers in the picketing action that affects the business operation, causes adverse publicity, or posseses an effect on the goodwill of the corporation, management may seek an injunction in the court requiring picketers to cease and desist. Videotapes and personal observations reduced to sworn statements may be needed to bolster the initiation of the criminal or civil litigation.