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Season 4, Episode 114

Breaking down the Supreme Court decision in favor of Glacier Northwest

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Labor lawyer Joyce Goldstein returned to the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court related to the Teamsters strike at Glacier Northwest. Goldstein also discussed how the votes were distributed and what this decision might mean for future of labor strikes. 

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on the case between Glacier Northwest and Teamsters Local 174 dealing with property damage during a strike. The case found its way to the Supreme Court after previously being thrown out by the Washington State Courts. The Supreme Court ruled 8-1 in favor of Glacier Northwest. With this decision, the lawsuit is reinstated in the state of Washington.

Goldstein discussed the facts of the case and made sure to clearly point out what the decision means and what it could have been. Of the eight votes in favor of Glacier Northwest, they were split into two groups. Five justices believed there were more reasonable steps the workers could’ve taken to prevent possible damage to the employees property. There were three other justices that ruled in favor of the employer, however Goldstein points out these three justices wanted a stronger punishment against the union. 

The decision reestablishes that the right to strike isn’t absolute, so if workers don’t take reasonable steps to avoid damage to the employers property they can be held responsible. It is worth noting that all of the decisions by the Supreme Court were made before any litigation had taken place, so all of the decisions were from the employer's statement, Goldstein added. She does believe that in the future unions can work with this decision and turn it around to work in their favor.

Listen to the entire episode to learn more.

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America’s Work Force is the only daily labor podcast in the US and has been on the air since 1993, supplying listeners with useful, relevant input into their daily lives through fact-finding features, in-depth interviews, informative news segments and practical consumer reports. America’s Work Force is committed to providing an accessible venue in which America's workers and their families can hear discussion on important, relevant topics such as employment, healthcare, legislative action, labor-management relations, corporate practices, finances, local and national politics, consumer reports and labor issues.

America’s Work Force Union Podcast is brought to you in part by our sponsors: AFL-CIO, American Federation of Government Employees, American Federation of Musicians Local 4, American Alliance for Manufacturing, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council, Communication Workers of America, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers Local 50, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Crafts, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 6, Ironworkers Great Lakes District Council, The Labor Citizen newspaper, Laborers International Union of The National Labor Office of Blue Cross and Blue Shield, North America, North Coast Area Labor Federation, Ohio Federation of Teachers, Survey and Ballot Systems, United Labor Agency, United Steelworkers.

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