SCOTUS Again Rules Against Working Families
Right-to-Strike Attacks Strengthened with Future Liability Concerns
[Washington, D.C] International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers (BAC) issued the following statement today after the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) ruled for the employers in Glacier Northwest, Inc. v International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local No. 174:
BAC is appalled, but sadly not surprised, by the ruling of the Supreme Court of the United States to strip workers of their most basic right to withhold their labor in Glacier Northwest, Inc. v. International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local No. 174. This case represents yet another assault on unions and working families.
While the majority opinion still affirms the lawful right to strike, it opens the door for state courts to determine what “reasonable precautions” workers need to take to prevent disruption to an employer’s operations and any consequent losses. This flies in the face of 80 years of established precedent where such matters were properly resolved by an impartial, neutral federal labor board. This decision could have a chilling effect on union activity that is protected by the National Labor Relations Act.
“Today’s decision is another example that elections have consequences, and of the conservative wing of the Supreme Court imposing its preferred policy outcomes in the guise of neutrally applying the law,” said BAC International President Tim Driscoll. “It is a dangerous moment when workers and their unions are potentially liable for losses sustained by an employer when they lawfully withhold their labor. Strikes are only successful when there is an economic impact, or the threat of one, to the employer.”
BAC applauds Justice Jackson for her lone dissent rightfully pointing out that the majority opinion places “a significant burden on the employees’ exercise of their statutory right to strike, unjustifiably undermining Congress’s intent.”