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AMERICAN AIRLINES, INC. v. TRANSPORT WORKERS UNION

February 7, 1962

AMERICAN AIRLINES, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
TRANSPORT WORKERS UNION OF AMERICA, INTERNATIONAL, AFL-CIO, et al., Defendants



The opinion of the court was delivered by: BONSAL

THE COURT:

The plaintiff, American Airlines, has moved for a preliminary injunction against the Transport Workers Union of America, International AFL-CIO, Michael Quill, Matthew Guinan and James F. Horst, individually and in their representative capacities, as stated in the caption of this case.

 A hearing has been held today, and testimony has been taken.

 The preliminary injunction would be effective during the pendency of the action and would restrain and enjoin the defendants and each of them, and all the plaintiff's employees represented by or affiliated with the defendant TWU and all persons acting in concert or participating with them from causing, conducting or engaging in or attempting to induce others to engage in the mailing, publishing, displaying, circulating or distributing of any statement in which it is threatened, stated, suggested or implied that the operations of plaintiff will be struck by the defendants, or containing any false, misleading or defamatory statement whatsoever, or any strike, partial strike, work stoppage, sitdown, slowdown or curtailment of work performed for plaintiff, or in any concerted refusal to accept overtime assignments or to perform work assigned to them by plaintiff in the operation of its air transportation system, or any other act of economic coercion against plaintiff.

 It would also enjoin the defendants from in any manner interfering with, by union discipline, penalty or otherwise, or inducing or attempting to induce any person to interfere with any employee of plaintiff or of its suppliers or independent contractors in his work for plaintiff, or in any manner interfering with or affecting the orderly continuance of plaintiff's business and plaintiff's operation of aircraft in its air transportation service, and from taking any action which would interfere with this Court's jurisdiction in the premises; and causing, conducting or engaging in or attempting to induce others to engage in any picketing of plaintiff's premises or before any of plaintiff's ticket offices or other places of business.

 The preliminary injunction requested by the plaintiff would require the defendants and each of them to issue such notices and instructions and to take such other steps as shall be necessary or appropriate to carry into effect the intent of the previous paragraphs and to present to this Court and to plaintiff evidence of the action taken in compliance therewith.

 As to the facts:

 Plaintiff operates an airline which serves some 60 cities in the United States and serves Toronto, Canada, and Mexico City, Mexico. It has about 24,000 employees, of whom, according to the evidence taken today, approximately 11,100 appear to be members of the defendant's union.

 The plaintiff transports 25,000 passengers a day. Its daily revenue from passengers, freight and mail runs to about $ 1,000,000. It is said to be the largest air freight carrier in the country. It certainly appears to play an important part in the airline industry, and there was testimony that some 25 per cent of the goods which it carries are essential to national defense.

 In addition to serving passengers directly, of course, it operates as a connecting airline for passengers coming from other regions of the United States or from abroad.

 On Tuesday, January 23, 1962, the boards of directors of the plaintiff, American Airlines, and of Eastern Air Lines entered into a merger agreement, which agreement has been filed with the Civil Aeronautics Board. This agreement provides that it shall not become effective until it has been approved by the stockholders and by the CAB. It seemed to be conceded at the hearing that it would take some eight months before the merger agreement could become effective.

 On the same day, Tuesday, January 23, 1962, the plaintiff, American Airlines, issued a press release. It appeared from the evidence that prior to the issuance of this press release, Mr. Kayser, vice-president of American Airlines, telephoned Mr. Horst, the vice-president of the defendant TWU, and read to him the press release. It appears that Mr. Horst made no requests or observations in connection with the press release, other than he did mention that the term 'merger' had an unpopular connotation in his union.

 I should mention at this time that the second paragraph of Section 5 of the merger agreement between the plaintiff, American Airlines, and Eastern Air Lines, provides as follows:

 'All the employees of the Constituent Corporations on the effective date of the merger will be become employees of the Combined Corporation. Thereafter, in case of a reduction in the number of employees, equal opportunity for employment in the available positions will be afforded to qualified employees of both of the Constituent Corporations, giving consideration to experience, length of service and ability, as determined by the Combined Corporation. The Combined Corporation will also accept reasonable labor protective provisions of the character and extent previously prescribed by the Civil Aeronautics Board, which provide, among other things, for allowances for certain employees who, as the result of the merger, may be displaced or dismissed.'

 On January 24th, the day after the public announcement of the merger, Mr. Matthew Guinan, International secretary-treasurer, and James F. Horst, International vice president and director of the Air Transport Division of the defendant TWU sent a telegram, which was immediately released publicly, to Mr. C. R. Smith, president of American Airlines, and Malcolm A. MacIntyre, president of Eastern Air Lines, which telegram reads as follows:

 'The Transport Workers Union of America, AFL-CIO, most vigorously protests the proposed $ 902,818,000 merger of American Airlines and Eastern Air Lines as an unjustifiable and unparalleled stock manipulation to create the world's greatest commercial aviation monopoly to the detriment of our national safety and security and the welfare of the 34,000 employees and their families.

 'We put you on notice now that the Transport Workers Union of America, AFL-CIO, will not tolerate any tempering with the job ...


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