The California Supreme Court ruled this morning that the state's labor laws assure union members the right to picket on privately-owned walkways fronting an entrance to a retail store, and that those laws are not unconstitutional.
The long-awaited and much-watched ruling reverses a 2010 decision by Sacramento's 3rd District Court of Appeal striking down two parts of the state's labor laws as unconstitutional and declaring retail owners can't be forced to allow picketing on their property just because it relates to a labor dispute.
The high court sent the case back to the 3rd District for further proceedings in accord with its ruling. The appeals court will have to withdraw its order to Sacramento Superior Court Judge Loren E. McMaster to issue an injunction prohibiting United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 8 from picketing at the entrance and on sidewalks adjacent to a Foods Co. store in the College Square development on West Stockton Boulevard. McMaster had earlier refused to issue an injunction.
The union members began picketing the establishment, a warehouse-type grocery store owned and operated by Los Angeles-based Ralphs Grocery Co., when it opened in 2007. The pickets encouraged people not to shop there because the employees were not represented by a union and did not have a collective bargaining agreement.