Last week the Supreme Court handed a massive victory to corporations by ruling that striking union members can be held financial liable for any damages that the company suffers when workers go on strike. This will have a major impact on workers being able to strike going forward. Mike Papantonio & Farron Cousins discuss more.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Mike Papantonio: Last week, the Supreme Court handed a massive victory to corporations by ruling that striking union members can be held financially liable for any damages that company suffers. Okay. This, wow, this was eight to one, right?

Farron Cousins: Yeah.

Mike Papantonio: I mean, eight US Supreme Court judges said, yeah. Now lay the story out so people can better understand it.

Farron Cousins: Yeah. What happened is, in 2017, you had this concrete company, Glacier Northwest, the Teamsters Union was working with Glacier management, you know, let’s get this worked out, otherwise our workers are gonna have to go on strike. They couldn’t come to a deal for better conditions for the workers. So the Teamsters strike, but the strike had already happened after a specific workday had begun. So all the concrete trucks that already had the mixed up concrete get driven back to the company so the workers can go on strike. Now, Glacier was able to get the concrete out. There was no damage to the trucks at all. But they said in their filing to the court, they said, well, gee, court, look at all this concrete that is now wasted. That cost us some money here, and we want the workers to have to pay for this used up concrete.

Mike Papantonio: Isn’t the next step, I mean, it’s in little tiny steps. Okay. First of all, we’re talking about an item. We’re talking about concrete. We’re talking about something as tangible as a truck, concrete that’s been destroyed in their argument. What about the intangible? What about, hey judge, when they did this, we tried to work with them. They wouldn’t work with us. Our company lost $800 million in the process. Now they know this, they know the Teamster Unions, and these unions have a lot of money. They understand it’s a deep pocket. And that’s what’s, it’s much like a SLAPP suit is what’s happening here, Farron, it’s very similar to a SLAPP suit. If we take ’em to court and we punish them, and they know that if you’re a Teamster Union, that they may have $10 billion accessible. Right?

And so they know I’m gonna go after those deep pockets, but more importantly, I’m going to chill. It’s gonna be a chilling effect. They’re gonna think twice before they even go on strike. Especially, especially if you get to the point, which I think could happen in the future, to where they’re saying, well, this is our real loss. Yeah. We lost the truck. We lost concrete. But what if it evolves, what if it evolves and says, well, we lost $800 million because these creeps wouldn’t listen to it? They wouldn’t come to the table and negotiate with us. Isn’t that where it goes?

Farron Cousins: It is. And I’ll tell you where else it goes, you know, a step further from that, because not only was that concrete for the day lost, but what about where the concrete was going? What about that business owner? Oh, no, now I don’t get my concrete, so I can’t finish my building on time. So now I will get to sue the, and I guarantee you that’s coming.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah.

Farron Cousins: We will see all of the people.

Mike Papantonio: Third parties.

Farron Cousins: Yeah. All the people along the lines. And this Supreme Court, again, as you said, eight to one. Only justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, excuse me, voted against it. She said, we shouldn’t even legally be able to look at this because it hasn’t gone through the National Labor Relations Board. She’s the only one who knows what the hell she’s doing.

Mike Papantonio: Well, I think unions in this country have a lot more to worry about. I mean, you’ve got the Democrats who get all this money from the unions, get tons of money, but the Democrats, you know, they’re bringing as many immigrants as they can. And these people are replacing jobs for low pay. And so that’s something that the Democrats need sit eye to eye with unions and say, this is what our plan is. Yes, it helps the economy, it helps the US GDP to bring ’em in. But you gotta understand it’s gonna hurt you in the long run. They haven’t even had that conversation. And unions keep throwing out money, more money to Democrats.

Farron Cousins: Well, and unions need to understand too, that in a lot of instances, obviously Judge Jackson is a different story with Biden. But a lot of the judges the Democrats are pointing out there are just as bad as those Republicans.

Mike Papantonio: Well, you know, I’m in court all the time. I mean, this is what I do for a living. And everybody thinks, oh, well, Obama made such great appointments. They were so much better than Bush. Bush made terrible appointments. Trump made terrible appointments. I can’t even put my hand around, my arms around how bad some of the Obama judges are. I mean, I just, because they come from corporate America, you see. They were, they represented corporations. They were silk stocking white collar lawyers that represented white collar criminals. Only money they’ve made, most of these appointments that Obama made came from the big defense firms, the silk stocking defense firms. They have nothing in common with consumers. Are they good on social issues? Yeah, they’re good. But how about issues that affect people’s pocketbooks? Terrible. Terrible. And I gotta tell you, people don’t understand that. They, oh, well, you know, if Obama made the appointment, they must be good. That ain’t like it. It’s not how it is.

Farron Cousins: Yeah.

Mike Papantonio is an American attorney and television and radio talk show host. He is past president of The National Trial Lawyers, the most prestigious trial lawyer association in America; and is one of the few living attorneys inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He hosts the international television show "America's Lawyer"; and co-hosts Ring of Fire Radio, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder.