How to Picket – A guide for strikers

Posted: November 20, 2011 by lambethsaveourservices in Demonstrate, Rally & Occupy!

There will be tens of picket lines across Lambeth on November 30th but what is the best way to do it?

In recent years, strikes have become a way for workers to register a protest rather than a means by which to shut down workplaces and force concessions from employers. But to win strikes, we need to use our power to its fullest. Effective picket lines are vital to make a strike successful.

• Choose in advance the best place(s) to picket. This should be where you will get best access to people arriving for work so you can persuade them not to go in. Try to cover all entrances.

•Identify all the times that people will be arriving at work and draw up a picketing rota.

•Make sure that you have enough people to picket at the right times of the day.Start earlier than the time that people normally arrive in case some try to slip in early!

• Get members to volunteer to picket and to commit to a particular time slot. Reassure any who are nervous about picketing, and perhaps practice in advance the arguments you will use to dissuade workmates from strike-breaking.

• Ask your union branch to fund babysitting for members who need to pay someone to look after their kids so that they can picket. Or organise collective childcare arrangements.

• Make sure you have materials— flags, banners, placards, union clothing etc.—to make your picket visible and eye catching.

•Whenever someone turns up for work, talk to them about the industrial action and try to persuade them to join it. This is the key purpose of your picket!

• Leaflet passers-by while you picket.

• A picket line is a great place to discuss dispute tactics, the next steps, and the politics of the issue. Encourage discussion, get people talking, and plan how you are going to pursue your ideas. A picket line is a form of direct action aimed at having the maximum impact on those in power. Make yours as strong, lively and confident as possible!