Labor Law–Federal Pre-Emption–State Jurisdiction to Prosecute Labor Organizers for Criminal Trespass

Defendants, non-employee union organizers, entered the parking lot of a retail department store without permission for the sole purpose of distributing union material to the store’s employees. After continued refusal to comply with requests to leave, the defendants were arrested, tried, and convicted of criminal trespass. It was contended that the trial court lacked jurisdiction because the National Labor Relations Act had pre-empted state control of the labor activities involved. On appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court, held, affirmed. State jurisdiction was justified not only by the state’s interest in domestic peace and the protection of employer’s property rights, but also by the refusal of defendants to invoke the jurisdiction of the National Labor Relations Board. State v. Goduto, 21 Ill. 2d 605, 174 N.E.2d 385 (1961), cert. denied, 368 U.S. 927 (1961).