WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — In an 8-1 decision, the United States Supreme Court delivered a blow to unions, ruling a company can sue its employees’ Teamsters union because drivers didn’t take enough reasonable precautions and materials were lost when they walked off the job.
Mark Gaston Pearce, the executive director of the Workers Rights Institute at Georgetown Law, agreed with the lone Supreme Court dissenter, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson.
“Now unions have to be concerned that employers are going to be bringing these little suits in local jurisdictions,” Pearce said. “The mystery is going to be, what constitutes reasonable precautions? What constitutes the kind of harm that unions could potentially be liable for?”
Pearce said he expects this ruling to have a chilling effect on unions, making them less likely to strike because they fear getting sued.
Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, a West Virginia Republican, said the Supreme Court got it right.
“Certainly the right to strike is not under question here,” Capito said. “If unions are going to strike, they shouldn’t be engaging in destruction of property.”
Courts in the State of Washington will decide the outcome of this lawsuit.