The Supreme Court upheld Graniterock’s 2008 jury verdict against the local union that the collective bargaining agreement was in fact valid after having a jury rule on it instead of an arbitrator. Additionally, the Supreme Court held that federal law does not provide a shield for an international union that uses its influence over a local union to injure an employer.
Although the Supreme Court would not recognize a new federal tort cause of action, it held that it “does not mean that we [the Supreme Court] approve of the IBT’s alleged actions.” The court also ruled that Graniterock may still seek its damage claims from the 2004 strike and described several avenues that the company could pursue against the International Teamsters — such as seeking strike reimbursement.
In the Supreme Court’s opinion, it stated: Graniterock describes a course of conduct that does indeed seem to strike at the heart of the collective bargaining process federal labor laws were designed to protect.
Bruce Woolpert, Graniterock president and CEO, adds in a written statement about the ruling: “There is simply no reason to have a labor contract if the terms and promises in that contract cannot be enforced.”
The U. S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, the Associated General Contractors of America, and the Center for National Labor Policy submitted amicus curiae briefs to the Court with legal arguments supporting Graniterock’s position. The AFL-CIO submitted an amicus brief supporting the Teamsters Union.
For the full Supreme Court decision, go to
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Knife River Minnesota Division hosts Bolivian Dignitary
Knife River Corp.’s Central Minnesota Division hosted Bolivian Governor-elect Santos Tito of the Oruro Province, at its Isanti ready-mix plant in mid May.
The tour, arranged by Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s office and guided by Eden Prairie-based EVS Inc., offered Gov. Tito the opportunity to meet with Minnesota companies to identify potential partners for several infrastructure projects he has planned in his province.
Knife River – Central Minnesota’s East Region General Manager Steve Semrau said it was an excellent opportunity to showcase the company’s ready-mix operations and demonstrate Knife River’s environmental commitment.
The Isanti plant, headed by Tim Vidor, has underground feed bins for aggregate to control dust at the site. Employees take great care to reduce additional dust and pollution on the plant site.
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