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Supreme Court Rules Against Union in Labor Dispute Involving Truck Drivers and Wet Concrete


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In a dispute about the pressure that organized labor can exert during a strike, the Supreme Court ruled Thursday against unionized drivers who walked off the job with their trucks full of wet concrete.

The decision united liberal and conservative justices in labor's latest loss at the high court. The lone dissenter in the case, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, said the ruling would hinder the development of labor law and “erode the right to strike."

 

Justice Amy Coney Barrett, writing for the majority, said the union failed to take reasonable precautions to protect the company's concrete when the drivers went on strike. Barrett wrote that the drivers for Washington state-based Glacier Northwest quit work suddenly, putting the company's property in “foreseeable and imminent danger."

"The Union's actions not only resulted in the destruction of all the concrete Glacier had prepared that day; they also posed a risk of foreseeable, aggravated, and imminent harm to Glacier's trucks," Barrett wrote in a decision joined by four other justices. Three more justices agreed with the outcome in the case but did not join Barrett's opinion.

In 2018, the court’s conservative majority overturned a decades-old pro-union decision involving fees paid by government workers. More recently, the justices rejected a California regulation giving unions access to farm property so they could organize workers.:snip:

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