This post may not be interesting to anyone but those that believe unions are a vital part of our country for without them America would not be the strong economy that it enjoys today.
Workers could lose the right to strike if SCOTUS plays their role….
The Supreme Court hears a labor dispute on Tuesday involving striking truck drivers who walked off the job to try to secure a better contract from their employer, a company that provides premixed concrete for construction projects. Yet, while Glacier Northwest v. International Brotherhood of Teamsters is a fairly unremarkable case, the stakes for unionized workers could be enormous.
Glacier Northwest, the employer behind this case, seeks to upend a more than 60-year-old rule protecting unions from lawsuits when workers exercise their federally protected right to strike.
It’s an audacious ask, and the case could potentially be decided more narrowly. But the two-thirds of the Court that was appointed by Republicans has shown extraordinary hostility toward unions in the past. So we can’t dismiss the risk that the Court hands down a maximalist decision that upends the balance of power between employers and labor unions.
The case hinges on a rule protecting workers’ right to strike, and laying out how companies can claim that this rule does not apply to a particular strike.
The Teamsters, the union in this case, allegedly timed a 2017 strike so that it would begin after some of Glacier Northwest’s mixing trucks were already filled with concrete, forcing the company’s non-union employees to race to dispose of this material before it hardened in the trucks. But the company was able to remove this wet concrete from the trucks before they were damaged, and there are a wealth of cases establishing that workers may strike even if doing so will cause some of their employer’s product to spoil.
In one case, for example, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) — a kind of quasi-court that hears disputes between unions and employers — sided with milk truck drivers who struck, even though their strike risked spoiling the milk before it was delivered to customers. Another case, handed down by a federal appeals court, reached a similar conclusion regarding striking cheese workers.
Just another attempt to prevent workers from earning the wages they deserve.
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“lego ergo scribo”