The grocery workers union had something to celebrate this Independence Day after the Arkansas Supreme Court ruled 6-1 on July 3rd. that union members could solicit members inside Wal-Mart stores. Last year, a lower court judge in Fort Smith, Arkansas gave Wal-Mart a permanent injunction prohibiting the United Food and Commercial Workers from soliciting inside of Wal-Mart, Sam’s Clubs, or other company stores — not only in little Fort Smith — but anywhere in the United States! The UFCW appealed the Fort Smith decision to the state Supreme Court, and the higher Court found that Wal-Mart had failed to show any “irreparable harm” to the company by the union solicitations. One Justice said that the lower court erred by trying to extend its reach to make the union activity tresspassing all over the country. The union had argued that Wal-Mart let charitable groups inside its stores, but Wal-Mart later banned those groups from being inside the story also. Wal-Mart said after the Fort Smith decision that the unions could still solicit members in the parking lots of their store. But this Supreme Court ruling suggests that in-store union activity is not a form of trespassing.
This decision represents the second union victory against Wal-Mart in as many weeks. See the earlier story about meat-cutters in Texas. For more background, search the Newsflash page by the word “union”.