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

Code of Good Practice

Picketing

7. Role of the police

 

 

1) It is not the function of the police to take any view of the merits of the dispute giving rise to a strike or a lock-out. They have a general duty to uphold the law and may take reasonable measures to keep the peace, whether on the picket line or elsewhere.

 

2) The police have no responsibility for enforcing the Act. An employer cannot require the police to help in identifying picketers against whom it wishes to seek an order from the Labour Court. Nor is it the job of the police to enforce the terms of an order of the Labour Court. Enforcement of an order on the application of an employer is a matter for the courts and its officers, although the police may assist officers of the court when there is a breach of the peace.

 

3) The police have the responsibility to enforce the criminal law. They may arrest picketers for participation in violent conduct or attending a picket armed with dangerous weapons. They may take steps to protect the public if they are of the view that the picket is not peaceful and is likely to lead to violence.