Strikers and protestors are protected by law. However, there are certain things that both strikers and their employers need to be aware of when it comes to carrying weapons during a strike.
Here are some important points you may not know:
- Carrying a weapon changes the nature of the strike or protest from peaceful to violent.
- Even if the weapon is never used, purely carrying the weapon can be regarded as violent intent.
- The presence of a weapon during a strike or protest places the person carrying the weapon, as well as other people within the vicinity of that person, at risk of injury, both intentional and unintentional, caused by the weapon.
- Carrying a weapon during a strike or protest is grounds for dismissal.
- Carrying a weapon during a strike or protest is also grounds for arrest and prosecution.
- Weapons are regarded as instruments used, or intended to be used, for the purpose of inflicting harm, or threatening to inflict harm. This could include conventional weapons such as guns or knives, as well us unconventional ones such as sticks, stones, glass, steel piping and so on.
- It is imperative that companies outline the restriction of the use of any such weapons in the company’s disciplinary code. This code should be reviewed and signed by all employees. It should also be posted openly in the office, such as on the office notice board.
Carrying any form of weapon during a strike or protest is grounds for dismissal and carries the potential for arrest and prosecution.