The first meaning of the term picket that collects the dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE) refers to the slight injury It is done with some pointed element. The concept is also used to name the aggression which consists of inserting the fingers into the eyes of a person, like they used to do “The Three Stooges” in the famous television comedy.
For example: “The player poked his rival in the eyes, but the judge did not warn him”, “The spider left a sting on my arm that still burns me”, “A young man was killed by a picket that a criminal attacked him”.
The notion of picket is also used to name the set of individuals who meet in a public space to carry out a protest and express their claims. Usually the picket seeks to interrupt circulation or free movement (through streets, highways or routes, etc.) with the intention of attracting attention and exerting greater pressure.
Pickets, as a method of protest, can present very varied characteristics. While some develop peacefully, others appeal to the violence and to coercion.
In the aforementioned strikes, the so-called informational pickets take center stage, which are made up of members of different unions or workers’ unions and whose clear objective is solely and exclusively to inform about the reasons for these work stoppages, in order to convince their listeners of who join them.
Of the aforementioned informational pickets, it is also worth knowing other of its main hallmarks:
-It is important to be aware that they are fully regulated by law, as is the case in Spain.
-The people who are part of them must proceed to carry out their information work through endless resources such as pamphlets, megaphones and even banners.
-It is vital and necessary that the members of these pickets are accredited, through badges or identification. It is the way that the union organization to which they belong is known.
-To be able to work as a picket line in Spain, the only requirement is that you form part of a workers’ union.
On occasions, during the celebrations of strikes, serious conflicts arise as a result of the actions of certain informational pickets, since they use force and even coercive actions to get workers to join them. And that is not only a mistake but it is also a direct attack against the right of any employee not to support it, as is legally recognized in the labor relations decrees.
From the legislation, the pickets are usually considered as a valid form of protest, framed in the right to assemble and demonstrate that citizens have. However, on some occasions, they can be declared illegal since they prevent the rest of the persons may move or because they intimidate the population that is not part of the protest.