The Supreme Court Gets Ready To Hear ‘A New Attack On Unions’ & ‘The Implications Are Profound’ - Case Targeting Union Organizers ‘Could Endanger Basic Government Functions,’ Such As Fire Inspection & Workplace Safety
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - The Supreme Court has announced it will hear Cedar Point Nursery v. Hassid, a case targeting a 45-year-old California regulation that allows Union Organizers to briefly enter agricultural workplaces to speak to Farm Workers - but the case has implications that stretch well beyond Labor Organizing. Among other things, Cedar Point could potentially allow businesses to deny entry to Health Inspectors and other Government Officials who ensure that those businesses are being operated safely.
The Fifth Amendment provides that private property shall not “be taken for public use, without just compensation.”
The Cedar Point plaintiffs argue that this “takings clause” gives them a broad right to “exclude unwanted persons from (their) property,” including Union Organizers - and that property owners are entitled to compensation if this right is violated by a state regulation.
If the Supreme Court were to hold that the government may not require a business to allow unwanted people on its premises, the implications could be staggering.
It could mean, for example, that the government runs afoul of the takings clause if it requires restaurants to submit to periodic health inspections, or if it requires power plants to be inspected to monitor their emissions, or if factories are required to allow Workplace Safety Inspectors to observe working conditions.
A victory for the Cedar Point plaintiffs could potentially endanger a wide range of land use regulations - such as requirements that certain buildings install sprinkler systems to prevent a fire from spreading, or requirements that buildings in earthquake-prone areas be built to protect occupants from such quakes.
The Court could also potentially hand down a narrower ruling that singles out Unions for inferior treatment.
In Janus v. AFSCME (2018), for example, the Supreme Court voted along party lines to forbid Public Sector Unions from charging certain fees to Non-Union Members who benefit from the Union’s services - but the Court has, at least so far, not applied Janus to Non-Unions that charge similar fees.
A broad decision in Cedar Point, meanwhile, could fundamentally reshape the balance of power between the government and private property owners - and it could do so in ways that don’t simply endanger Workers’ rights, but that could also potentially make all of our lives less safe.
The specific regulation at issue in Cedar Point, as Harvard Law Professor Niko Bowie noted on Twitter, “was the product of a years-long campaign by César Chávez” and the United Farm Workers.
Promulgated in 1975, this regulation gives Union Organizers limited access to agricultural worksites, provided that those Organizers disclose to the employer that they intend to enter a particular worksite.
To Continue Reading This Labor News Story, Go To: www.vox.com/21569510/supreme-court-unions-cedar-point-nursery-hassid-takings-california-fifth-amendment