Ralphs Pushes Picketing Case Towards Supreme Court ReviewAbigail Rubenstein of Law360 ($$) reports that this past Monday, Ralphs Grocery Store filed a brief with the Supreme Court, urging it to take Ralphs’ case and overturn a California ruling allowing union picketing at the store’s Sacramento branch. The brief argues that the California court’s decision violates the constitution’s prohibition on content discrimination in speech because the grocery store could have barred union-members from speaking on any other subject on its property other than organizing.

“What is ‘radical’ is the California Supreme Court’s decision,” the brief said. “If not reviewed, store owners will be forced to host labor-related expression on their private property, even though they can exclude all other expressive activity.”

A union attorney was not available for comment, but had previously expressed his belief that the Court would not accept the case for review. We will certainly keep you posted as this situation develops.

Nurses at UMass Prepared to StrikeWBUR reports that UMass Memorial nurses are expected to strike because contract negotiations between the nurses and hospital management have stalled.

“We are disappointed by management’s refusal to negotiate a settlement to this contract, yet we are committed to standing up for patients and our union rights,” said Margaret McLaughlin, a nurse and co-chairwoman of the University Campus bargaining unit.

Hospital management expressed its disappointment at the nurses’ course of action, but also assured the public that temporary workers were standing by in case the nurses follow through on their threats. Apparently, the main sticking points between the two sides continue to be staffing levels, as well as vacation time and pension issues.

Caterpillar and USW Head Back to the Bargaining TableFox6Now.com reports that tomorrow, officials representing Caterpillar and the United Steel Workers are expected to sit back down at the bargaining table in a continuing effort to reach a new collective bargaining agreement. In a vote last month, USW employees overwhelmingly rejected Caterpillar’s latest offer, which had included wage increases and a new bonus structure. We will certainly keep you posted as negotiations resume.