What kind of picketing is lawful?

Picketing is generally understood to constitute activity on the public highway in which pickets hope to win support for their case by persuading colleagues to join their strike and to inhibit others, such as suppliers, from assisting their employer in running its business during that strike. The right to participate in "peaceful picketing" under s.220 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 is limited to picketing "in contemplation or furtherance of a trade dispute" at or near a person's own place of work or, if he or she is a union official, the workplace of a member whom he or she represents. Section 220 states that picketing must be only for the purpose of "peacefully obtaining or communicating information, or peacefully persuading any person to work or abstain from working". In reality even if this is all pickets do, they remain vulnerable to being moved on if the police consider a breach of the peace to be likely. Pickets may also fall foul of a number of civil and criminal laws, such as the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 and the Public Order Act 1986.