Teamsters Union loses appeal at SCOTUS

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In a loss for organized labor, the Supreme Court on Thursday ruled in favor of a concrete company in Washington state seeking to revive a lawsuit against the International Brotherhood of Teamsters alleging that a strike damaged its product. The 8-1 decision, written by Justice Amy Coney Barrett, means the company, Glacier Northwest Inc., can pursue a lawsuit against the union in state court over an August 2017 strike in which drivers walked off the job, leaving wet concrete in their trucks. The company claims the union is liable for what it says was intentional damage to its product.

Barrett, one of the court's six conservatives, wrote that a state court was wrong to dismiss the claims at such an early stage in proceedings based on its concern that the claims conflicted with the National Labor Relations Act, a federal law that protects union activity. "Because the union took affirmative steps to endanger Glacier's property rather than reasonable precautions to mitigate that risk, the NLRA does not arguably protect its conduct," Barrett wrote. Organized labor advocates had raised concern that a ruling in favor of the company could stifle strike actions by opening up unions to damages claims for a wide variety of potential losses employers can face as a result of such activities.
https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/suprem ... -rcna77242

Another SCOTUS decision that didn't follow a conservative v liberal split.
BARRETT, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which ROBERTS, C. J., and SOTOMAYOR, KAGAN, and KAVANAUGH, JJ., joined. THOMAS, J., filed an opinion concurring in the judgment, in which GORSUCH, J., joined. ALITO, J., filed an opinion concurring in the judgment, in which THOMAS and GORSUCH, JJ., joined. JACKSON, J., filed a dissenting opinion.
https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/2 ... 9_d9eh.pdf
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Re: Teamsters Union loses appeal at SCOTUS

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sikacz wrote: Fri Jun 02, 2023 9:05 am Leaving wet concrete in trucks and walking off guarantees the drum will be ruined. The concrete will set. I can understand that goes beyond withholding labor which is something I believe should be a right.
This would be what the Teamsters would do in the past, but they are claiming it's BS. However, damaging expensive equipment may WELL fall outside normal labor arbitration. But I am ALWAYS suspicious of corporations and/or ReThugs going after unions because they HATE unions for FORCING them to pay the market price of labor, the ONE input they refuse to pay market prices for.
"Even if the bee could explain to the fly why pollen is better than shit, the fly could never understand."

Re: Teamsters Union loses appeal at SCOTUS

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YankeeTarheel wrote: Fri Jun 02, 2023 9:55 am
sikacz wrote: Fri Jun 02, 2023 9:05 am Leaving wet concrete in trucks and walking off guarantees the drum will be ruined. The concrete will set. I can understand that goes beyond withholding labor which is something I believe should be a right.
This would be what the Teamsters would do in the past, but they are claiming it's BS. However, damaging expensive equipment may WELL fall outside normal labor arbitration. But I am ALWAYS suspicious of corporations and/or ReThugs going after unions because they HATE unions for FORCING them to pay the market price of labor, the ONE input they refuse to pay market prices for.
I agree, knowingly leaving the concrete I would have expected a law suit from the corporation. If they had dumped it and then left work or delivered their last load and allowed the contractors to place it it would be a different story. Leave the trucks and refuse to go back for more loads. At that point the ball is in the employers court. Contractor’s with projects waiting for more concrete will be pissing off the company demanding more concrete. Block the plants with empty trucks and picket.
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Re: Teamsters Union loses appeal at SCOTUS

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sikacz wrote: Fri Jun 02, 2023 10:35 am
YankeeTarheel wrote: Fri Jun 02, 2023 9:55 am
sikacz wrote: Fri Jun 02, 2023 9:05 am Leaving wet concrete in trucks and walking off guarantees the drum will be ruined. The concrete will set. I can understand that goes beyond withholding labor which is something I believe should be a right.
This would be what the Teamsters would do in the past, but they are claiming it's BS. However, damaging expensive equipment may WELL fall outside normal labor arbitration. But I am ALWAYS suspicious of corporations and/or ReThugs going after unions because they HATE unions for FORCING them to pay the market price of labor, the ONE input they refuse to pay market prices for.
I agree, knowingly leaving the concrete I would have expected a law suit from the corporation. If they had dumped it and then left work or delivered their last load and allowed the contractors to place it it would be a different story. Leave the trucks and refuse to go back for more loads. At that point the ball is in the employers court. Contractor’s with projects waiting for more concrete will be pissing off the company demanding more concrete. Block the plants with empty trucks and picket.
Yup, if the trucks were empty and not full of concrete, that's a different case and Teamsters would likely have won. Another interesting division of SCOTUS justices on this case.
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Re: Teamsters Union loses appeal at SCOTUS

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sikacz wrote: Fri Jun 02, 2023 9:05 am Leaving wet concrete in trucks and walking off guarantees the drum will be ruined. The concrete will set. I can understand that goes beyond withholding labor which is something I believe should be a right.
Good split of concepts. I agree.

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Re: Teamsters Union loses appeal at SCOTUS

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I'd have to know more about the contract. The Teamsters I work with have a negotiating period and a date and time the contact ends. Anytime after that they can choose to strike or continue to negotiate and work without a contract. There is also, previous to the end of the contract, a strike authorization vote taken. These events are well known to both the company and union. The company can also do a "lock-out".

So who knew what and when is important. If the Teamsters had announced say after Tuesday at noon we may go on strike, then it pushes it back on management for loading cement trucks that may not be emptied by noon on Tuesday. On the other hand if the Teamsters agreed to extend working without a contact for 2 weeks and then call for walking off the job after only one week then management may have some ground.

Re: Teamsters Union loses appeal at SCOTUS

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sikacz wrote: Fri Jun 02, 2023 9:05 am Leaving wet concrete in trucks and walking off guarantees the drum will be ruined. The concrete will set. I can understand that goes beyond withholding labor which is something I believe should be a right.
Actually doesn't ruin drum, but some poor bloke is going to spend many hours or days with hammer chipper cleaning the mess out. That's what the manhole on ready mix trucks is for - access for cleaning out. A 5 lb. bag of sugar or case of coca cola would retard hardening of several yards of concrete in drum. It would be foolish for union to walk away from concrete loaded drum knowing they would be the one's cleaning drum out once agreement made.
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Re: Teamsters Union loses appeal at SCOTUS

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I you read the article it seems the concrete is already cleaned out.
When truck drivers walked off the job, the company says, some of the concrete already being delivered was rendered useless. Drivers returned trucks to the company’s facility, some of which had partial or full loads on board. As a result of the strike, concrete was left in the trucks and had to be removed to harden and then be broken up before it could be disposed of, the company says.

The union says that when the workers returned the trucks, the cement was wet, and that they left the drums on the trucks rotating, meaning it would not immediately congeal. It was the company’s decision to remove the concrete and then break it up once it hardened, the union says.
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing,”

Re: Teamsters Union loses appeal at SCOTUS

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This is the statement of facts that SCOTUS based its decision on.
Glacier Northwest delivers concrete to customers in Washington State using ready-mix trucks with rotating drums that prevent the concrete from hardening during transit. Concrete is highly perishable, and even concrete in a rotating drum will eventually harden, causing significant damage to the vehicle. Glacier’s truck drivers are members of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local Union No. 174. After a collective-bargaining agreement between Glacier and the Union expired, the Union called for a work stoppage on a morning it knew the company was in the midst of mixing substantial amounts of concrete, loading batches into ready-mix trucks, and making deliveries. The Union directed drivers to ignore Glacier’s instructions to finish deliveries in progress. At least 16 drivers who had already set out for deliveries returned with fully loaded trucks. By initiating emergency maneuvers to offload the concrete, Glacier prevented significant damage to its trucks, but all the concrete mixed that day hardened and became useless.
The facts are determined by witnesses at the trial court level, appellate courts including SCOTUS don't hear witness testimony, but review the trial court transcripts.

Remember that Sotomayor and Kagan joined in the majority decision.
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

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