AG Coalition Files Supreme Court Amicus Brief Supporting Workers’ Right to Strike

  • A group of 16 AGs submitted amicus briefing to the U.S. Supreme Court in Glacier Northwest, Inc. v. International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local Union No. 174, urging the Court to find that the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) preempts state law tort claims for conversion and trespass to chattels based on loss of products resulting from a worker strike.
  • The underlying action, brought in Washington state court, involved a union strike by cement truck drivers who were employed by construction service company Glacier. When the strike went into effect, the drivers stopped work, resulting in the loss of concrete that had already been mixed and loaded into cement-mixing trucks and was not delivered before it hardened. Glacier unsuccessfully sued the union for the loss of the concrete, and eventually appealed their case to the Supreme Court.
  • The AGs’ brief argues that holding workers liable for economic harm caused by a strike would contravene federal policy and NLRB precedent. Specifically, the AGs’ brief contends that the purpose of the NLRA is to “restore ‘equality of bargaining power between employers and employees,’” and that the NLRA explicitly protects the right to conduct “concerted activities” like strikes.  Consequently, the NLRB in the past has rejected the proposition that the NLRA does not protect strikers against even intentional property destruction, and the AGs argue that the Court should honor this precedent in denying Glacier’s appeal.