Labour History

A Tale of Two Towns: Industrial Pickets, Police Practices and Judicial Review

Labour History (2008), 95, (1), 151–167.

Abstract

Both the 1992 APPM Burnie dispute and the late December 1999 Lyttelton industrial dispute involved small bands of local police adopting peace-keeping and non-interventionist control of picket-lines. Considerable criticism from management, and subsequently the judiciary, was directed against the non-confrontational police response. Judicial criticisms of police handling of both disputes failed to consider the adverse consequences of a return to a traditionally aggressive policing approach. This article argues that the local relationship between union officials and local police was a significant factor in limiting violence and that a resort to belligerent policing of picketing should be resisted. The similarities of police and union approaches in both cases were stark, as were the criticisms of alleged police inactivity.

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Author details

Baker, David

Table of Contents

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