Effective Picketing

Attached is an updated useful guide for picketing - please download and share


  • 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.
  • In addition, you may choose to picket a location such as a busy station, where you can leaflet and speak to the public too.
  • Get members to volunteer to picket and to commit to a particular time slot.
  • Identify all the book-on times and draw up a picketing rota. Make sure that you have enough people to picket at the right times of the day.
  • Arrange transport eg. car shares, for members to get to the picket line.
  • Ask your branch to fund babysitting for members who need to pay someone to look after their kids so that they can picket.
  • Make sure you have all the materials you need for picketing:
    • picket armbands
    • RMT membership forms
    • notebook and pens
    • leaflets
    • radio
    • mobile phone and useful numbers
    • camera
    • advice from other unions, if helpful
    • refreshments (or cash!)
    • RMT Hi-Vis
    • tape
    • picket signs; other signs, banners and flags to liven up your picket.
  • The day before the strike, check the weather forecast and prepare accordingly!


  • Keep your picket well-staffed, lively and well-decorated.
  • You have the legal right to picket in connection with an industrial dispute at or near your workplace and to use your picketing to peacefully obtain or communicate information or persuade any person to work or abstain from working. There are legal rules governing picketing eg. not causing an obstruction on the public highway or trespassing. But other ‘rules’ eg. limiting numbers of pickets to six, are just guidelines, not legal requirements.
  • Whenever someone turns up for work, talk to them about the industrial action and try to persuade them to join it.
  • Let workers fill in an RMT membership form on the picket line, even if they intend their membership to be only for the duration of the industrial action.
  • Listen to radio coverage of the dispute; ring up phone-Ins.
  • Provide pickets with refreshments.
  • Take photos of your picket. E-mail them, with a report of your picket, to info@rmtlondoncalling.org.uk
  • Note the details of any incidents, in case follow-up is required.
  • Note any apparent safety breaches in the workplace you are picketing. Report these to the union.
  • Keep in contact with pickets at other locations.
  • Leaflet passers-by while you picket.
  • Be friendly to visitors, some of whom may be from the media!
  • Note down any messages of support. You may want to use a petition for supporters to sign.