Home News The US Supreme Court deals with regulated labor agreements in a new ruling

The US Supreme Court deals with regulated labor agreements in a new ruling

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A US Supreme Court ruling lowered the threshold for companies suing unions for property damage caused during strikes, continuing the trend of rulings against organized labor.

Dans une decision of 8 contre 1 jeudi, la plus haute cour du pays a annulé la decision d’un tribunal inferieur bloquant une action en justice intentée par un vendeur de beton de l’État de Washington, Glacier Northwest, contre une section locale d ‘Association.

The lawsuit argued that Glacier Northwest incurred losses during a 2017 strike that forced the company to dump an unused product: wet concrete that could have damaged the trucks carrying it.

The Court of First Instance ruled that workers’ right to strike is guaranteed under the National Labor Relations Act. But Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who writes for the majority on the Supreme Court, said there are limits to the NLRA’s protection.

“Because the union took affirmative action to endanger Glacier’s property rather than take reasonable precautions to mitigate that risk, the NLRA is arguably not protecting its conduct,” she wrote in the ruling.

The decision is the latest in a series of cases in which the court has ruled in favor of companies and against organized workers.

La Cour suprême a déjà jugé, par example, that les autorisant réglementations les organisateurs syndicaux à embaucher sur les terres agricoles violent les droits des employers et que les syndicats ne peuvent pas facturer des «frais d’agence » aux employees qui ont benéficié de leur a job.

The union organization has seen support grow in the United States, but membership numbers are still well below previous high levels.

“The ability to strike has been on the record for nearly 100 years,” said Sean O’Brien, general president of the Brotherhood for International Justice, which represented the workers in Thursday’s case. “It is no coincidence that this decision comes at a time when workers across the country are increasingly bored and exercising their rights.”

Thursday’s decision stems from a 2017 incident when a group of truck drivers working for Glacier Northwest were involved in a work stop while their trucks were filled with concrete.

They kept rotating the mixing drums to prevent the concrete from hardening and damaging the vehicles, but the company still had to dispose of the unused product.

Northwest Glacier, a unit of Taiheiyo Cement Corp. In Japan, cement must be used quickly or it may damage the equipment carrying it. He alleged that the timing of the strike was to facilitate the deliberate destruction of company property.

Noel Francisco, the attorney who represented Glacier Northwest, said the decision “justifies the long-held principle that federal law does not protect unions from tort when they willfully destroy an employer’s property.”

The Washington State Supreme Court ruled in 2021 that the loss of concrete was incidental to the strike, thus pre-empting the company’s claims under the National Labor Regulation Act, which affirms workers’ right to form unions and engage in collective bargaining.

The US Supreme Court, encouraged by President Joe Biden’s administration, overturned that decision on Thursday.

In a 27-page dissent, Justice Kitangi Brown Jackson said the ruling could cause “great confusion” about the application of NAM law in future cases and “threatens to undermine the right to strike.”

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