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Labour Relations Act, 1995 (Act No. 66 of 1995)

Code of Good Practice


6. Conduct in the picket



1) The registered trade union must appoint a convenor to oversee the picket. The convenor must be a member or an official of the trade union. That person should have, at all times, a copy of section 69 of the Act, a copy of these guidelines, any collective agreement or rules regulating pickets and a copy of the resolution and formal authorisation of the picket by the registered trade union. These documents are important for the purposes of persuading the persons participating in the picket to comply with the law. These documents may also be important to establish the lawfulness and the protected nature of the picket to the employer, the public and in particular to the police.


2) The convenor must notify the employer, the responsible person appointed in terms of section 2 (4) (a) of the Regulation of Gatherings Act, 1993, and the police of the intended picket. The notice should contain—
a) notification that the picket is in compliance with section 69 of the Act;
b) the name, address and telephone number of the trade union and the convenor;
c) details of the picket, including the details of the employer being picketed, the date of the commencement of the picket, the location of the picket, etc.


3) The employer must, on receipt of the notification, provide he convenor with the name, address and telephone number of the person appointed by the employer to represent it in any dealings arising from the picket.


4) The registered trade union should appoint picket marshals to monitor the picket, and they should have the telephone numbers of the convenor, the trade union office and any persons appointed to oversee the picket, in the absence of the convenor. The marshals should wear arm bands to identify themselves as marshals. The trade union should instruct the marshals on the law, any agreed picketing rules or, where no agreed rules exist, any picketing rules that have been stipulated by the CCMA, this code of good practice and the steps to be taken to ensure that the picket is conducted peacefully.


5) Although the picket may be held in any place to which the public has access, the picket may not interfere with the constitutional rights of other persons.


6) The picketers must conduct themselves in a peaceful and lawful manner and must be unarmed. They may—
a) carry placards;
b) chant slogans; and
c) sing and dance.


7) Picketers may not—
a) physically prevent members of the public, including customers, other employees and service providers, from gaining access to or leaving the employer's premises;
b) commit any action which may be unlawful, including but not limited to any action which is, or may be perceived to be violent.