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Picket Line Procedures + Tips

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Keep the line moving. It's important to keep a tight picket line in front of entrances and exits - the point of a strike is to disrupt and slow down business at the hospital, to make it as difficult as possible for them to operate without us.

You can block vehicles and scabs from entering or exiting the hospital for up to 2 minutes. Our legal team advises us that we can block scabs (replacement workers and Huffmaster private security hired for the strike), but that we should not block them for longer than 2 minutes. Do not block any family visitors or patients.

Scabs are not our friends, including Huffmaster security. They're here to break our strike.

Huffmaster security guards may try to intimidate you, including photographing or videoing you. This is normal. They are trained to intimidate and scare us. Our legal team is looking into whether videotaping us is a labor violation. For now, please note (including taking a quite photo) any incidents of this.

If you have any sort of altercation with a security guard, including verbal or physical, tell a picket captain or call the 1133 office at 716-828-1133. Take a picture or video of any incidents.

If you're a picket captain, introduce yourself to the police on duty (please note, the Buffalo police are NOT the same as the Huffmaster security guards). The police have been cordial with our picketers so far and it's helpful for us to maintain clear communications and rapport with them.

Keep the area clean. Pick up any trash around the picket area, especially discarded food and wrappers.

You can make noise! Yell, chant, clap, cheer, bring noisemakers, use the bullhorn between the hours of 8am and 10pm. Let CHS know we're here and we're strong!

Leading chants will help rally our picketers. If you're a picket captain and can't be a chant leader, designate someone else to do it. If you don't have a bullhorn at your line, call the union hall to ask about getting one. Chanting and showing a ton of energy is a BIG help in getting your picketers to stay on the line.

Hold the line! If you have to step away for a few minutes for a bathroom break or to grab a snack, let someone know where you're going (if you're a picket captain, designate someone to be in charge until you return) and get back to the line ASAP.

At the end of your shift, do not just leave. If you're not a picket captain, make sure you sign out with the captain. If you ARE a picket captain, sign out with the captain relieving you and make sure you hand off the clipboards and all other necessary items (bullhorn, supplies, etc) to the next person. Give them a quick update about how your shift went and any info they may need to know.