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NV conservation group supports FERC's transmission planning rule; Memorial Day weekend includes Tornadoes and record-high temperatures; A focus on the Farm Bill for Latino Advocacy Week in D.C; and Southeast Alaska is heating homes with its rainfall.

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U.S. Supreme Court allows South Carolina gerrymander that dilutes Black voters, Sen. Ted Cruz refuses to say if he'll accept 2024 election results, and Trump calls Mar-a-Lago search an attempt to have him assassinated.

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Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

SCOTUS hears Starbucks case, implications for unions on the line

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Tuesday, April 23, 2024   

A case before the U.S. Supreme Court could have implications for the country's growing labor movement. Justices will hear oral arguments in Starbucks versus McKinney today to determine if the bar should be raised for the National Labor Relations Board when it seeks to impose court-ordered injunctions on companies.

David Groves, communications director with the Washington State Labor Council, said the Supreme Court could further undermine the power of the NLRB, the independent federal agency that protects employees' rights.

"We already have weak labor laws in this country that have such minor penalties for breaking union organizing laws that companies routinely do it, and this is another opportunity for them to weaken labor laws even further," he argued.

The case involves Starbucks' firing of seven employees in Memphis during their union campaign in 2021. The coffee company says it rehired the workers and denies wrongdoing. If the justices rule in favor of Starbucks, it could make it harder for the NLRB to seek court orders.

Groves said the law states that workers have a right to organize unions in their workplace without coercion or retaliation from their employers.

"That's all fine and good but if the penalty's not significant enough, then they'll just go ahead and break that law and consider it the cost of doing business if they have to pay a fine two years down the road," he explained.

Groves said his and other labor organizations support the passage of the Protecting the Right to Organize or PRO Act in Congress, which would strengthen labor laws, including providing greater authority to the NLRB.


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