We frequently confront the issue of whether to institute tort-based suits in state or federal court, on behalf of an employer, seeking to recover damages suffered as a result of picketing, strikes and other activities by labor unions. Currently, that issue sits before the U.S. Supreme Court in Glacier Northwest Inc. v. International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local Union 174, 500 P.3d 199 (Wash. 2021), cert. granted, 143 S. Ct. 82 (Oct. 3, 2022) (No. 21-1449). There, the employer sought to recover damages for the destruction of its property during a strike in Washington state court. The union-defendant and State of Washington, in essence, argues that such claims are preempted under the long established Garmon preemption doctrine holding that the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) should first evaluate whether the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) protected the strike conduct. San Diego Building Trades Council v. Garmon, 359 U.S. 236 (1959).
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