ROSEVILLE, CALIF. (Sept. 19, 2008) – A Sacramento Superior Court judge has rejected an attempt by Ralphs Grocery Co. to restrict informational picketing at a Foods Co store in Sacramento.
Judge Loren E. McMaster denied the company’s motion for a temporary restraining order. He found that the company failed to support its claim that the picketing was unlawful, disruptive or threatening.
“This ruling is a victory for working people and the Bill of Rights,” said UFCW 8-Golden State President Jacques Loveall.
“This was a clear attempt to unfairly limit the ability to get our message across,” Loveall said. “It was an attempt to deny our legal right to free speech and assembly.” If Ralphs had succeeded in obtaining the restraining order, it would have affected similar activities by unions across California, Loveall said.
The Union has been picketing the store, at 7421 W. Stockton Blvd., every day since July 2007, shortly after it opened. In January 2008, the company sought to limit the picketing efforts and force the Union to adhere to unilaterally created company rules that would significantly limit the time, place and manner of the picketing. When the Union rejected the company’s unlawful attempt to limit its rights, Ralphs filed a motion for a temporary restraining order. UFCW 8-Golden State represents some 30,000 members who work in stores, plants and offices from the California-Oregon border in the north to Fresno County in the south.