The conservative majority will consider whether businesses can sue unions in state court for the economic consequences of strikes and other employee protests.
October 24, 2022

For 25 years, I've been telling readers that most things Republicans do make sense once you understand their real agenda: Cheap, disposable labor without legal rights for workers. That's it. Abortion? They want workers who have more kids than they can afford so they're afraid to lose their jobs. And so on.

And that's why the conservative majority on SCOTUS, which has chipped away at one union right after another, is expected to rule that businesses can sue unions in state court for the economic consequences of strikes and other employee protests. Via Reuters:

That sort of labor dispute is a special category of legal action that the National Labor Relations Board has maintained original exclusive jurisdiction over for nearly 65 years, under Supreme Court precedent dating back to 1959.

The right to strike, including the attendant financial harms, is protected by the National Labor Relations Act. The statute responded to a turbulent history in U.S. labor relations, including violent suppression of workers by corporations and the government. It essentially erected a national structure to equalize the tremendous power imbalance between employers and employees, primarily by making worker organizing, collective bargaining – and strikes -- legally protected activities.

[...] The dispute taken up by the Supreme Court arose from a strike by Teamsters Local 174, a union of truck drivers for Glacier Northwest Inc in Washington state, which does business as CalPortland. The company bills itself as the largest producer of building materials in the western United States. Lawyers for Glacier didn’t respond to requests for comment. Representatives of Local 174 declined to comment publicly because of the pending litigation.

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