Halton Regional Police Service
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Management and Organized Labour Guidelines

The following information is based on court rulings and will assist you in preventing breaches of the peace:

  • Peaceful picketing is lawful if it is for the purpose of obtaining or communicating information.
  • There is a legal obligation on any person crossing or attempting to cross a picket line to do so in a manner that will not endanger the life or safety of any person.
  • It is legal for a picketer to use persuasion on any person about to enter picketed premises. However, this does not extend to the use of force, threats, threatening gestures, or blocking access to the picketed premises.
  • It is illegal to block access to premises and to counsel or procure others to do so.
  • It is illegal to prevent workers, customers, patrons or suppliers from entering or exiting a premise or place of business.

Role of the Police:

The Halton Regional Police Service maintains Labour Dispute Officers who:

  • Establish a liaison with members of organized labour and management.
  • Advise and assist where possible.
  • Ensure that all persons involved are able to exercise their lawful rights, and;
  • Prevent breaches of the peace at the time of labour disputes.

The Service policy is based on the understanding that labour disputes are civil matters between management and labour, and providing no breach of the peace occurs, the police have no authority in the dispute:

It is the policy of the Halton Regional Police Service to refrain, as far as possible, from stationing uniformed police officers at strike scenes. The executive member and picket captains of the union local involved in the strike are given the opportunity to police their picket lines, and the responsibility of maintaining peaceful picketing.

If peaceful conditions are not preserved then, in the interest of public safety, uniformed police officers may be stationed at the scene to:

Maintain peace and order, and;
Ensure, where necessary, the free and safe flow of traffic on the highway and remove any object or person directly or indirectly obstructing traffic, under the provisions of the Highway Traffic Act and the Criminal Code.

The following are relevant offences relating to strikes:

Obstructing Police
Causing a Disturbance
Assault/Assault With A Weapon Or Causing Bodily Harm
Mischief/Wilful Damage
The Trespass to Property Act

For more information on the preceding offences, consult the applicable legislation, or:

Halton Regional Police Service Labour Dispute Coordinator
2485 North Service Road West,
Oakville, Ontario, L6M 3H8