Supreme Court expected to make consequential labor organization ruling

 April 29, 2024

The U.S. Supreme Court appears as though it is getting ready to make a decision that could hurt labor organizations. 

This is according to a new report from The Epoch Times.

The outlet bases its report on the fact that members of the Supreme Court seemed to be "sympathetic" to the oral arguments that were put forth in the case by Starbucks, which is currently in a legal battle with the National Labor Relations Board.

The oral arguments took place before the Supreme Court just last week, on April 23.


According to the Times, Starbucks workers, across the country, have been trying to unionize and Starbucks is trying to fight this.

This particular dispute, the one that is before the Supreme Court, stems from an incident that involves the so-called Memphis Seven. Starbucks ended up terminating their employment after they violated company policy by letting a television news crew into the Starbucks facility after the facility's business hours were up.

Subsequently, the Starbucks Workers United union complained to the National Labor Relations Board, claiming that Starbucks discriminated against union members and interfered with their right to unionize.

The Board, in turn, got a federal court to grant a preliminary injunction forcing Starbucks to rehire the Memphis Seven. This injunction was upheld by a federal appellate court.

Now, the matter is before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Starbucks' argument

The coffee company is essentially arguing that the board used the wrong test in deciding whether or not to seek a temporary injunction forcing the company to rehire the terminated employees.

The key question is whether the board was required to have "reasonable cause" to secure the injunction or whether it needed to have a "clear showing" that it was entitled to the injunction. The board used the former, less rigorous standard, and Starbucks says this is wrong.

The Times reports that members of the Supreme Court seemed "sympathetic" to Starbucks' argument.

In addition to this, the Times notes that the U.S. Supreme Court "has tended to rule for employers in recent years," citing, as an example, the 2023 Glacier Northwest Inc. v. Teamsters case, which was actually an 8-1 decision, meaning that it was not a partisan ruling.

The Supreme Court is not expected to rule in this case until sometime around the end of June 2024. But, this is certainly a decision to keep an eye on, given the impact that it could have on labor organizing.

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