Picketing Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Picketing, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Picketing?

n taking out processions or simply standing infront of offices in protest for any kind of disputes or disagreement to bring the matter into notice.It is not considered crime as long as it is carried out silently but if violence is involved legal action can be taken.

History and Meaning of Picketing

Picketing, in labor law, is a form of protest by workers or individuals to draw attention to a grievance or bring a dispute to a resolution. It involves using people - union members or sympathizers - to surround or block the entrance of a workplace, business, or government building.

The term "picketing" originated in the early 20th century and was quickly adopted by labor unions and workers' organizations as a way to show solidarity and demand better working conditions, wages, and benefits. It was instrumental in several labor movements, including the Industrial Workers of the World in the 1910s, the United Auto Workers in the 1930s and the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and '60s.

While picketing is protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution, there are limitations on where, when, and how it can be conducted. For instance, picketers must not block people or traffic from entering or exiting a building, engage in violence or use threatening language, and must follow local ordinances.

Examples of Picketing

  • The United Auto Workers went on strike and began picketing outside General Motors' factories across the country.
  • A group of environmental activists picketed outside a fossil fuel company's headquarters, demanding the company to stop polluting the environment.
  • Animal rights activists staged a peaceful picket outside a circus, urging the public not to attend the show because of animal abuse allegations.

Legal Terms Similar to Picketing

  • Strike: a work stoppage by employees as a form of protest or to demand better working conditions.
  • Boycott: a form of protest where individuals or groups refuse to buy or use certain goods or services.
  • Lockout: a situation where employers prevent employees from entering the workplace, usually to force them to accept certain conditions.