Nine things an organization must do – and Six things you certainly can’t do – to help ensure a strike or picket remains peaceful. Excerpted from the new book The Security Manager’s Guide to Mishaps.
Besides a strike and picket action by a small group of employees against a business to get some wage increase or to gain or retain some benefit, we must take into account that other demonstrations usually takes place which could affect an organization enterprise.
Groups or crowds which could assemble to show or even to picket a business as a result of some business practice that they feel offends them or others needs to be handled in the same way being a strike incident. An example of 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 situation, law enforcement needs to be requested. If the occurrence creates a business disruption or if their presence is illegal, picketers can be removed. Caution and discretion in tactics has to be considered in the event the company hopes 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 other than a labor issue, a citizen has the legal right to peaceful assembly underneath the First Amendment in the U.S. Constitution. This amendment protects the right to picket, no matter whether the point is actually a labor dispute, civil rights, or other demonstrations. Generally, picketing is protected when it is for any lawful purpose, conducted in an orderly manner, and publicizes a grievance of some type.
The following are the generally accepted rules that control and regulate walkouts and strike actions through the country.
The Right to Picket
Pickets (strikers) have the authority 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 in the strike security services. They might be other union members acting in sympathy with all 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 the functions or objectives of the business; they might not affect business operations.
Picketing is legal provided that it will not limit or deny access of employees, customers, visitors, vehicles, deliveries, etc., to the business and then any of their 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 trying to enter in the property in the facility commit the crime of criminal mischief, reckless or criminal harm to property, or criminal tampering with intent to cause damage or substantial inconvenience.
Additionally, strikers causing damage to other employees or persons wishing to go into the striking premises may commit the crime of assault. If an implement is used and results in damage or injury, the criminal charge will be elevated to some higher degree. Check the local or state laws that apply to your employer for the correct statute warranted. Regarding any violation from the pickets or even the organizers of the picketing action that affects the business operation, causes adverse publicity, or posseses an effect on the goodwill in the corporation, management may seek an injunction in court requiring picketers to cease and desist. Videotapes and private observations reduced to sworn statements may be required to bolster the initiation of any criminal or civil litigation.