It might be hard ball. It might even be, to use the judges’ own words, “socially reprehensible.” But Wal-Mart has every right to close stores in the face of unionization drives, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled today. The decision follows the closure of two stores in Quebec in which employees had been organizing to form a union local, and represents a blow for labour groups who had hoped to crack the U.S.-based chain’s no-union policy. But the decision was a foregone conclusion: the unions were asking the courts to set an extraordinary precedent by forcing a business operator to keep its doors open—an incursion on basic freedoms one would think would be reserved only for the greatest emergencies.
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