The U.S. Supreme Court has let stand a California state Supreme Court ruling that union members can assemble on private property, a case that had involved Ralph's Grocery.
That state supreme court ruled back in 2008, in Ralphs Grocery v. United Food and Commercial Workers Union, that two of the state's labor laws guarantee the right to picket, even on private property. Ralphs' arguments, that it was protected by the First and Fouthteenth amendments, didn't apparently move the U.S. Supreme Court.
John Douglas, partner at San Francisco-based Foley and Lardner's Labor & Employment practice, told Progressive Grocer that although "there is a conflict here between the D.C. Circuit and the CA Supreme Court on this issue, the Court may have viewed the issue as too particularized to a specific area of the country and agency to deem worth taking up at this time."
Jacques Loveall, president of United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 8 Golden State, based in Sacramento, Calif.—which was the defendant in the suit—told Supermarket News: "Obviously we are gratified with the Supreme Court's decision to deny review. It is troubling, however, to witness a long-term union employer taking a hostile stance toward workers' rights to express themselves freely. Nonetheless, the Court's decision is a clear victory for working families."
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