Union employees often resort to picketing when there is a conflict between the union and the employer. Picketing in its simplest form is used to provide information to employees and the public that there is a dispute between the union and the employer. However, picketing is also used to coerce action on the part of the employer or to dissuade customers from patronizing the employer.
The National Labor Relations Board permits picketing for purely informational purposes. However, it is unlawful for a union to picket where it seeks recognition for a union or seeks for employees to accept the union when another union has been recognized, and the NLRB would not conduct a new election; a valid election has been conducted within the past 12 months; or no election petition has been filed, and picketing has been conducted for a period of time not to exceed 30 days.
Questions are sometimes raised when the picketing seeks to provide information and seeks recognition of the union. The NLRB has set forth a number of rules, some of which hinge on whether the picketing disrupts pickup from or delivery to the employer.