Monthly Archives: November 1973

1973.11.30: Stores attempt boycott ban (El Malcriado)

1973.11.30 - El Malcriado

El Malcriado, November 30, 1973

Stores attempt boycott ban

BOSTON, MASS:– In recent public statements, grower spokesmen agreed the boycott is an effective weapon for the Union. This fear of the boycott has resulted in the uses of restraints against the boycotters across the country.

The Massachusetts State Supreme Court is holding up Boston boycotters by postponing its decision regarding “vague” state law, which prohibits picketing in a shopping center, and bans the secondary boycott.

The California Table Grape Commission has indicated that Boston is a “problem area” for the growers. The Boston committee has been concentrating its efforts on A&P, despite an injunction that allows only 15 pickets who can boycott grapes and lettuce but not A&P, and prohibits pickets from entering the parking lot.

In St. Louis, Missouri, Richard and Barbara Cook are also faced with a crippling injunction on their boycott activities. The brunt of their efforts have been concentrated against the 44 chain store Shnucks. 

Schnucks has joined the list of chains who are turning to the “strike-breaking, union-breaking and picket line-breaking” retraining order to restrict and limit picketing activities.

In St. Louis the boycotters are prohibited from going into Schnucks’ property, and are forbidden to “Boycott Schnucks.” Barbara Cook says that this is “completely against what the Constitution guarantees us. It’s a ridiculous restraint.”

Phoenix boycott director, David Koehler said an anti-boycott injunction obtained by Safeway allows the pickets to stand in front of Safeway as long as they are not boycotting Safeway. “This is in violation of the first Amendment. We are not allowed to say ‘Boycott Safeway.’ Almighty Safeway says ‘Thou shalt not speak.'[“] Despite the court order, so far the boycotters are having little problem shuttling the customers to the newly erected “Smitty’s closeby.

Over 250 workers for Inter Harvest have joined the Phoenix picket line in boycotting lettuce at Safeway. The workers have divided into 10 crews. Each crew takes care of one store.

Andrew Dolan and Thomas Gilhool, Professors of Law, USC Law Center, and Leon Letwin & Richard Wasserstrom, Professors of Law, make the following observations:

The right of UFWA and its supporters to engage peaceably in picketing and leafletting on shopping center property has been unquestioned by police official, or by court, since the decision of the US Supreme Court in 1968 in the case of Amalgamated Food Employees Union Local 590 vs. Logan Valley Plaza (391 US 309).

In that case the Supreme Court ruled that a shopping center, having once opened itself to serve the public at large, could not, then, use the trespass laws to keep persons from entering upon its walkways and parking lots for the purpose of handbilling or picketing. 

It was also ruled on the right of groups who have a message directed at patrons, in the status as customers of the market being picketed, to inform customers not to shop at a market because it sells non-union produce, bears the “relationship, direct or indirect, between the purpose of the expressive activity and the business of the shopping center,” which the Supreme Court said would invoke the protective shield of the First Amendment. 

Thus the right of the UFWA to picket and leaflet in a peaceful and orderly manner in super-market parking lots free of arrest or injunction cannot be questioned.