Role of Security During a Strike

March 14, 2011

Security’s main role is to prevent injury to personnel and property damage. The integrity of the work site is critical to ensure your objectives can be maintained as well as the resumption of normal work activities when the labour dispute ends.

Proper contingency planning is key in determining the level of resources required as well as how and when resources will be deployed to respond to incidents and picket activity.

Strike security is often identified as being an instrument of management during a labour dispute. It is important that strike security remain neutral in the dispute.

Although violence is not part of every labour strike, it does occur often. Planning has to include the potential for violence. Pre-strike security must plan for worst case scenarios and decide how best to respond. We must assume that activists wish to use violence as a tactic. Spontaneous violence almost always occurs as emotions run high. Violence of any type must be dealt with promptly to avoid any escalation and to prevent the mood of picketers becoming more extreme. Please keep in mind – sometimes violence is premeditated. The union may intentionally use violence to rally members and galvanize emotions. Should this occur, the police will have to become involved and various legal strategies will need to be considered to curb violence.

Union members and activists can face both criminal and civil action resulting in claims for damages. Proper documentation (video and narrative reporting) will be required for individuals to be accountable for their actions.
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