Walmart v. UFCWAnnotate this Case
The trial court issued a permanent injunction in 2014 barring the union from conducting demonstrations inside stores owned by Walmart. The union argued that the trial court had no jurisdiction to enter the injunction because the matter was preempted by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), 29 U.S.C. 151 et seq. In Sears, Roebuck & Co. v. Carpenters, the high court established an analytical framework to determine San Diego Unions v. Garmon preemption issues, including the application of the local interest exception, in the context of a California trespass case. Sears indicates that at least with respect to trespass claims, the trespass issue may properly be seen as distinct from violations of federal labor law arising out of the same conduct, and therefore not preempted; the Sears analysis is premised on the idea that two different legal controversies may arise out of one set of facts or form of conduct; and Sears indicates peaceful trespass may be an issue deeply rooted in local feeling such that the local interest exception to preemption may apply. Determining that Sears governs this case, the court concluded that Walmart's trespass action is not preempted by the NLRA because the local interest exception applies. Here, the gravamen of Walmart’s claim in the trial court was that the union activities were unlawful because they were occurring inside Walmart stores. Accordingly, the court affirmed the trial court's judgment.