Cases & Deals

Glacier Northwest wins Supreme Court decision holding that NLRA does not protect intentional property destruction

Client(s) Glacier Northwest, Inc.

On behalf of Glacier Northwest, Inc., Jones Day persuaded the U.S. Supreme Court that the National Labor Relations Act ("NLRA") does not impliedly preempt a state tort claim against a union for intentionally destroying an employer's property in the course of labor strike.

In its decision, the Court clarified that the NLRA does not place employer property rights at the mercy of labor unions. Here, the union representing the truck drivers of a ready-mix concrete company deliberately timed a strike to occur after the trucks had been loaded with concrete, purposefully resulting in the destruction of the concrete. The Washington Supreme Court held that this conduct was "arguably protected" by the National Labor Relations Act, and that the company's claims for damages for the destruction of its property were preempted under San Diego Building Trades Council v. Garmon, 359 U.S. 236 (1959). The U.S. Supreme Court reversed that ruling, allowing employers to pursue tort claims against unions when their property is intentionally endangered during a strike.

Glacier Northwest, Inc. v. International Brotherhood of Teamsters, No. 21-1449 (U.S.)