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Union President Says Employees “Don’t Deserve” To Be Represented (Read More…)

By JACKIE CROSBY, Star Tribune

August 30, 2010

The union that represented employees at Murray’s Restaurant in downtown Minneapolis for decades has kissed the relationship goodbye, ending a fight over cuts to wages and benefits that created a schism among workers.

Unite HERE Local 17, which represented servers, cooks, dishwashers and bartenders at the landmark steakhouse, told the National Labor Relations Board earlier this month it would no longer press a charge of unfair labor practices against Murray’s owners. The union also said it had “disclaimed interest” in representing workers there.

Nancy Goldman, president of Local 17, said the contract was “substandard” and that the relationship with the Murray family “is so tainted, I don’t think we can do business anymore.”

“In a small shop like that, where they have a few workers who are wanting to carry the company’s water at the expense of the rest of them, that’s not a group I want to represent,” she said. “They don’t deserve it.”

The dispute began last fall at Murray’s, which had been a union shop since it opened in 1946.

California Court Restricts Trespassing by Labor Unions on Private Property (Read More…)

By William J. Emanuel

The California Legislature has enacted two statutes that create barriers to injunctive relief against trespassing by union agents on the private property of employers, and California courts have repeatedly sought to exempt labor unions from the intentional tort of trespass that applies to all other persons and organizations in this state.

In a recent decision, however, the California Court of Appeal for the Third Appellate District emphatically rejected this state-sponsored protection of union trespassing.  The court ruled—in Ralphs Grocery Company v. United Food & Commercial Workers Union Local 8—that the statutes protecting union trespassers violate the free speech provisions of the U.S. Constitution, and that the decisions of the California courts that carve out trespassing by union agents for special protection no longer have viability as binding precedent.  If this important decision survives review by the California Supreme Court, the legal landscape will be dramatically altered for employers and labor unions in this state.

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