Socialist Worker

Strikes - know your rights

Issue No. 2294

If you are on strike you have a legal right to picket “to peacefully communicate with and seek to persuade colleagues” not to go in to work.

You have other legal rights too.

The government’s own website says: “If you join the picket line outside or near your workplace, you are allowed to try peacefully to persuade workers employed by other employers not involved in the dispute:

  • to support you
  • not to cross the picket line

“For example, you might try to persuade lorry drivers from a different employer not to deliver supplies or collect goods.

“Normally doing this would be unlawful because it would be asking the other workers to take secondary action (action by workers of an employer not involved in the dispute).

“However it is lawful to do this when you are picketing.”

Sometimes government ministers, right wing newspapers or police officers claim that you can only have six pickets.

But this is rubbish. There is no legal limit.

The government has in the past issued a “Code of Conduct” which talks about a six picket limit.

But it has no legal basis and you don’t have to abide by it. So use your rights and get picketing!


If you enjoy Socialist Worker, please consider giving to our annual appeal to make sure we can maintain and develop our online and print versions of Socialist Worker. Go here for details and to donate.

Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.