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U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Picketing Rights

Business  (tags: abuse, americans, business, consumers, corporate, dishonesty, economy, ethics, GoodNews, goodnews, labor, law, society, usa )

- 1829 days ago -
There's power in the picket line. And employers know it.

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JL A (281)
Friday June 14, 2013, 5:18 pm

U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Picketing Rights

By Rebecca Band, California Labor Federation

There’s power in the picket line. And employers know it.

That’s why, in 2008, Ralphs Grocery Company sued to have union picketers removed from the front of one of its non-union stores. But California has explicit laws to protect labor-related speech, and the court denied the request by Ralphs.

But that hasn’t stopped the grocery chain from continuing its courtroom battle to silence workers – even though they’ve lost just about every case. Last December, California's Supreme Court upheld the ruling in favor of the picketers. Speaking for the California Supreme Court's 6-1 ruling in the Union's favor, Justice Joyce Kennard wrote that the 1975 state law and follow-up legislation passed in 1999 are

justified by the state's interest in promoting collective bargaining to resolve labor disputes, and the understanding that the area outside the entrance of the targeted business often is the most effective point of persuasion.

And this week, California working families scored a huge and decisive victory when the U.S. Supreme Court refused to review the employer’s appeal on the constitutionality of labor-related speech on private property.

UFCW8 President Jacques Loveall:

This decision is a clear victory for our Union and all working families our state. While we are glad to achieve this decisive legal victory, it is troubling to witness a long-time Union employer taking a hostile stance toward workers' rights to express themselves freely. Educating shoppers and workers about their basic rights to a decent wage, good health care, dignity in retirement and respect on the job should not result in lawsuits and appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Through its campaign, UFCW 8 continues its efforts on behalf of employees at Walmart, Fresh & Easy, Nugget, Target, Whole Foods, WinCo, Vallarta, Trader Joe's and other retail chains known as failing to meet industry standards in wages and benefits.

Said Loveall:

Our members are prepared to do whatever it takes to ensure all workers have access to the good pay, health care, pensions and job security provisions enjoyed by union members.

Posted on 06/13/2013

Terry V (30)
Friday June 14, 2013, 5:27 pm


JL A (281)
Friday June 14, 2013, 6:16 pm
You are welcome Terry,
You cannot currently send a star to Terry because you have done so within the last day.

Barbara K (60)
Friday June 14, 2013, 6:43 pm
Wow, they decided for the workers for a change. Glad the workers still have the right to picket.
Thanks, my friend.

paul m (93)
Saturday June 15, 2013, 4:42 am


JL A (281)
Saturday June 15, 2013, 7:08 am
You are welcome Paul...

Bryna Pizzo (139)
Saturday June 15, 2013, 8:20 am
Thank you for the good news!

Jonathan Harper (0)
Saturday June 15, 2013, 12:24 pm

Deborah W (6)
Saturday June 15, 2013, 1:25 pm
Freedom of speech ... what about the abuse and violence that often goes with that freedom?

Dianna M (16)
Saturday June 15, 2013, 1:29 pm
Glad the Supreme Court agrees we have rights! Can we get them to rule on the right to peacefully protest (as guaranteed by the Constitution) without being treated as terrorists?

Esther S (45)
Saturday June 15, 2013, 1:53 pm
I am wondering about the details of the picketing rights. I do think that they should have the right to picket the store if it is on the sidewalk or across the street from the store, but should they have the right to picket on the store's property? Should they have the right to stand in the way of people who still would like to go into the store?

JL A (281)
Saturday June 15, 2013, 1:56 pm
The court ruled at the entrances is appropriate given all the circumstances Esther--being away from the people they are educating defeats the purpose altogether.

Birgit W (160)
Saturday June 15, 2013, 2:43 pm

. (0)
Saturday June 15, 2013, 3:11 pm
I've never doubted the power of the unions. Any politician who does soon becomes toast. I'm not a big fan of organized labor perse but due to the Fast Food Industry and places like Walmart and Target I'm afraid they are necessary at times.

JL A (281)
Saturday June 15, 2013, 3:12 pm
You are welcome Birgit.
You cannot currently send a star to Michael because you have done so within the last day.

Past Member (0)
Saturday June 15, 2013, 6:13 pm
"We The People" do have power when we unite.

Katie & Bill D (107)
Saturday June 15, 2013, 9:04 pm
They will tell you where you may stand! You won't be in anybody's way!
It will be on the sidewalk on the street most likely at entrances!!
Support these folks in Solidarity for their rights!
Thank You

Esther S (45)
Sunday June 16, 2013, 5:10 am
I just don't think that they should have the right to prevent people who want to go into that store from doing so. Those people should have rights also. You might think it is fine because you back unions but what if the people who are picketing are not from a union but are picketing on an issue in which you don't agree with them, would you feel the same way?

Kathleen R (138)
Sunday June 16, 2013, 5:10 am
noted & read

JL A (281)
Sunday June 16, 2013, 8:16 am
Esther, that is the constitutional right of freedom of speech and assembly at work. Customers can politely say excuse me and move on during such pickets--they really are only put in the position of having to actively refuse to listen.

Debra Tate (17)
Sunday June 16, 2013, 8:39 am
Noted. Thank you supreme court! At least someone in the government is for the people!

Esther S (45)
Sunday June 16, 2013, 10:38 am
JL.A. I just don't think that people who want to go into the store should be blocked from doing so. They also should not be frightened from doing so, I think of other possible picketing such as those who are against abortions,, gays, certain races, etc. etc. They have freedom of speech also but they should not be able to interfere with other people's rights.

JL A (281)
Sunday June 16, 2013, 1:28 pm
The court ruled that the unions have the right to inform customers regarding their issues with the store--no sensible person would be frightened of an effort to provide them information to make and informed or moral decision about their shopping Esther. They are exercising a right while the shopper is exercising a privilege and not a right--no one's rights are interfered with when a union pickets.

Esther S (45)
Sunday June 16, 2013, 1:43 pm
JL.A. You think that the shopper does not have the right to enter the store? In other words if a person has the right of Freedom of Speech, that means that everyone has to listen to them whether they want to or not? Does that apply to everything and anything that a person wants to speak about and in just about every situation? That sure seems to be taking away other people's rights.

JL A (281)
Sunday June 16, 2013, 1:48 pm
Esther, no one has a right to enter any business--any business is free to bar individuals as long as it isn't based on a protected status. Such is a privilege just like driving is a privilege. Under our laws, rights trump privileges in terms of protections. You appear to believe you have rights that do not exist.

Esther S (45)
Monday June 17, 2013, 4:45 am
JL.A. but in this issue it is not the business that would be barring individuals to enter the store. It would be the protestors that would be barring people from entering the store. The business would have the right to bar someone from entering it's store because the store is the private property of the business. On the other hand the store is not the property of those who are picketing. What if those who are picketing are opposed to people of color going into a store, etc. do they have the right to bar the people of color from going into the store?

JL A (281)
Monday June 17, 2013, 6:20 am
Wrong--picket line slowing the entrance of customers, not barring in any stretch of the imagination. They have rights protected by law to picket and inform customers of the issues. The customers have the privilege, but no right, to shop there. You mistake the nature of the activity all together when you say bar and create a nonissue that doesn't exist.

Esther S (45)
Monday June 17, 2013, 7:05 am
JL.A. From my first posted comment, I have just been stating that I just don't think that those who picket should prevent them from going into the store. In other words when they picket, they should not in any way prevent people who choose to go into the store from doing so. They have the right to picket but they don't have the right to block people. They also don't have the right to force those people to listen to what they have to say if those people don't want to be stopped in order to listen to them.

JL A (281)
Monday June 17, 2013, 7:16 am
They have the right to stop people to talk to them or provide them with information about the picket. That is not in any way barring or preventing entry under the law. It is the people's responsibility to stop the conversation if they do not want it--not the persons' on the picket line or anyone else. The law requires customers to accept personal responsibility--do not blame the picket line people for the customers' failures.

Esther S (45)
Monday June 17, 2013, 10:57 am
The point I am trying to make is that if the person wants to keep going into the store and doesn't want to stop to listen to the person who is picketing, he or she should not be stopped.

JL A (281)
Monday June 17, 2013, 11:04 am
The law expects the shopper to show respectful conduct towards the picketer and briefly tell them I do not want to be informed.
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