Why do workers on strike still participate in picket lines? This question absolutely blows my mind.
Picketing originally occurred as a way for workers to show solidarity, dissuade people from entering the premises of the workplace they are striking against and to generate public support and provide information about their strike.
However, in modern days (with the ability to use the internet), I have found that picketing has becoming practically useless.
As a student at Carleton, there is currently a strike occurring and CUSE 2424 has picket lines at either entrance to my school. Therefore, buses will not cross onto the campus, traffic is constantly backed up, people are annoyed and its overall a terrible experience.
Think about this. CUSE 2424 could come up with a hashtag to use as an information sender for their cause. If the 50 people walking back and forth across the road in the picket line all used twitter and tweeted every 5 mins for an hour with their hashtag and a link or a little bit of information about the strike, that would be a total of 1000 tweets an hour. If that happened 2-3 times per day, there could be between 2,000 and 3,000 tweets A DAY about the strike.
That many tweets would mean their hashtag would be trending – this alone would mean information about their strike is reaching way more people than just those affected by the picket line. Students wouldn’t be angered for having to trudge through the snow to get to their classes late, traffic wouldn’t take close to an hour to get on and off campus in some situations and there might be far more support for the strikers and their cause. Far more people use twitter every second then a weeks worth of people in cars who see the picket line on their way to and from work.
I understand that in some industries, a picket line is an effective form of generating concern and causing change. However, picketing at a university, meh, not so much.
Overall, using social media instead of a picket line would bring far more attention to the strike and their cause, would generate far less anger towards the picketers, and no one would be stuck out in the cold and snow for longer than they possibly needed to be.
So I ask you, why the **** do people still picket.