Ralphs Grocery Co. v. United Food & Commercial Workers Union Local 8

After a labor union began picketing on a supermarket's privately owned walkway in front of the store's customer entrance, the supermarket owner sought a court injunction to prevent the picketing. The owner argued that because the union was using the walkway for expressive activity without complying with the supermarket's regulations, the union was trespassing on its property. The trial court denied relief, concluding that the supermarket owner had failed to satisfy Cal. Lab. Code 1138.1's requirements for obtaining an injunction against labor picketing. The court of appeal reversed, holding (1) the walkway was not a public forum, and therefore, the store owner could regulate speech in that area; and (2) both the Moscone Act and section 1138.1 violate free speech and equal protection because they give speech regarding a labor dispute greater protection that speech on other subjects. The Supreme Court reversed and remanded, holding (1) a union's picketing activities in the supermarket's privately owned entrance area do not have state constitutional protection; (2) however, those picketing activities do have statutory protection under the Moscone Act and section 1138.1; and (3) these statutory provisions do not violate the federal constitutional prohibition on content discrimination in speech regulations. View "Ralphs Grocery Co. v. United Food & Commercial Workers Union Local 8" on Justia Law