The DO’S and DON’TS of Picketing


Instructions to CWA Pickets and Handbillers


1. It is your constitutional right to picket your employer and pass out handbills during a strike. Your picketing is a form of free speech protected by the first amendment.

2. Your rights to strike, to picket, to handbill and to engage in other forms of concerted activities as workers are also guaranteed by section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRB).

3. When you are picketing:
A. Ask workers who have not yet honored the picket lines to do so, even if they are not members of the union. Section 7 protects them from employer discipline when they refuse to cross a picket line.

B. Ask the public to not patronize the employer, and ask persons making deliveries to the employer to honor your picket line. This does not apply if picketing is only “Informational”.

C. Communicate with customers in a courteous manner and thank them for their support. Tell them why you are striking.

D. Cooperate with police officers and obey their instructions. If there is a problem, obtain the officers name, department affiliation and badge number and report information about police actions to picket captain and/or your CWA Local.

E. Picket only where assigned by your CWA Local and picket captain.

F. Maintain peaceful and orderly picketing.

G. Keep moving and maintain adequate space between pickets to allow for access through company entrances and gates.

H. Do not use foul or abusive language to customers of others in vicinity of the picket lines.

I. You have the right to call strike breakers “Scabs”. You may add descriptive adjectives such as “lousy scab”. You must not use any derogatory language regarding a persons race, ethic origin, religion, gender, age or sexual preference.

J. Do not threaten customers or others.

K. Do not physically touch any persons approaching or crossing picket lines.

L. Do not make any statements to police, reporters, tv/radio, managers or security agents. Refer all questions to the picket captain or local union officers.

M. Do not litter. Keep the area clean.

N. Do not drink alcoholic beverages or bring any non prescription drugs with you to picket duty.

O. Picket only the employer being struck and the workers performing the work of the employer being struck. Do not picket gates “reserved” for employees of so-called “neutral” employers. Ask your picket captain if you have questions about reserve gates.

P. Thank everyone for their support.

Q. Report any incidents involving threatening or dangerous behavior by strike-breakers to picket captain and/or local union. Make note as to what happened (date, time, place, description of individuals, witness names).

R. Do not interfere with traffic beyond what pedestrians normally are entitled to do.

S. Do not argue with other pickets. If you have a problem, talk to the picket captain.

4. If you have any questions regarding where you can picket or how you can conduct strike activities, contact your picket captain or local union. CWA staff and legal advisors will be available during any strike to answer questions and assist in the maintenance of effective picket lines.


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