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The United States Supreme Court recently heard arguments in Glacier Northwest v. Teamsters Local 174 to review a Washington State Supreme Court ruling that grants union officials immunity from state lawsuits over deliberate property damage perpetrated during union strike actions.
While largely under the radar, the case could be a stealth blockbuster if the Justices use the opportunity to begin a more fundamental review of the myriad of double standards that shield unions and union officials from basic legal principles that apply to every other private organization and individual.
In the case, concrete company Glacier Northwest sued the Teamsters union for an estimated $100,000 in property damage orchestrated by union officials during a 2017 strike. The Washington Supreme Court later blocked the lawsuit and sided with union bosses, finding that federal labor law releases them from liability because the damage was “inflicted through a strike as a legitimate bargaining tactic.”
As flagrant as immunity from property damage lawsuits might seem, the exemption in Glacier is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to special union boss legal privileges. As the National Right to Work Foundation argued in an amicus brief, the Justices should