As we mentioned here last week, the Supreme Court issued a decision in Glacier Northwest v. International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local Union No. 174, stating that unions cannot intentionally destroy employer property without consequences.
To provide some initial insight on the types of things employers will need to consider in pursuing a claim of this type, we reached out to Jim Rovers, Senior Vice President and General Manager at AFIMAC Global, which offers emergency response and strike security, risk management and business continuity services to companies across North America, who shared the following insights:
According to Jim, one critical element employers must develop is gathering physical evidence from the picket line location and documenting the event as part of any action they pursue.
Here are recommendations from the AFIMAC team on doing that:
Here are some general guidelines for the types of evidence that may be relevant when employers want to sue unions for harm caused by illegal picketing. It’s always advisable to consult with legal professionals who can provide the most current and accurate guidance.
When gathering evidence to demonstrate the loss incurred due to union picketing activities, security, and other key company stakeholders may consider the following types of evidence:
- Documentation: Maintain detailed records and documentation related to the picketing activities, including dates, times, locations, and any incidents or disruptions caused by the picketers. This includes incident reports, photographs, videos, and other relevant evidence.
- Financial Records: Gather financial records that can establish a correlation between picketing activities and a decline in business. This may include sales records, profit and loss statements, financial forecasts, and other relevant financial documentation.
- Customer Complaints: Keep records of customer complaints about picketing activities. This could include complaints about difficulties accessing the business, disruptions to services, or negative experiences caused by picketers.
- Employee Testimony: Gather statements from employees who may have witnessed or been affected by the picketing activities. They can provide firsthand accounts of disruptions, incidents, or negative impacts on the company’s operations.
- Expert Witnesses: Engage the services of experts who can testify on the picketing activities’ economic impact. Economic experts or consultants can analyze the financial data and provide an opinion on the causal relationship between the picketing and the harm suffered by the business.
- Video Surveillance: If available, provide video footage from security cameras that capture any incidents or disruptions caused by the picketing activities. This visual evidence can be compelling in demonstrating the impact on the business.
- Communication Records: Preserve any written communication, such as emails, letters, or social media posts, that relate to the picketing activities and their impact on the business. These records can provide additional context and evidence of harm.
It is crucial to consult with legal professionals who specialize in labor laws and have experience in such cases to ensure that the evidence collected aligns with the specific requirements and standards set by the courts. They can guide you through the process and provide advice tailored to your unique situation.
To learn more about AFIMAC’s labor unrest services and how we might support evidence-gathering requirements, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.