On June 1, 2023, the Supreme Court issued a decision setting strong precedent for corporations to sue unions over expired building materials, spoiled products and other costs incurred in the course of a strike. The ruling in Glacier Northwest v. International Brotherhood of Teamsters, is in direct opposition to NLRB precedent that “economic losses as a result of strikes” is protected activity and only in extremely rare situations is it dangerous enough to require work stoppage precautions. Watch out for updates on https://labortoday.luel.us/ as we detail this strike action further.
This ruling comes during a time—both nationally and internationally—where the democratic right of workers to strike has faced numerous attacks. The corporate press has reported that several National union presidents are relieved that SCOTUS did not restrict the right to strike, but this is merely a false sense of security as there is no telling on how this ruling can be applied considering the whole point of a strike is economic loss.
The Teamsters waged this legal battle seemingly without any campaign of support which has now resulted in unforeseeable consequences to the right to strike for all workers. The fact that there was no mobilization of workers by the leadership of the major unions in defense of the right to strike is telling. Several factors negatively affecting organized labor have combined to result in a situation where there is an inability to stand united to defend the interests of all workers.
Labor United Educational League stands resolutely behind the right to strike as an inalienable right of all workers. We find these attacks on the right to strike disconcerting especially since the crisis of capitalism is increasingly more apparent in the US. The erosion and suppression of the right to strike has historically signified the growing danger of fascism. We also find the lack of mobilization by the National unions clearly shows the time is now for the militant rank-and-file to organize and win democratic control of their unions to build a unified class-oriented trade union movement.
Labor United Educational League