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THORGEIRSSON v. TWA

July 30, 1968

Ingimar Thorgeirsson, et al., Petitioners
v.
Trans World Airlines, Inc., Respondent


Herlands, D.J.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: HERLANDS

HERLANDS, D.J.

The present proceeding is brought by petitioners, pursuant to §§ 3 First (m), (p), 201, and 204 of the Railway Labor Act, 45 U.S.C. §§ 153 First (m), (p), 181 and 184,* to enforce an award of the Trans World Airlines Flight Engineers' System Board of Adjustment (Flight Engineers' Board). Petitioners and respondent have both moved for summary judgment, pursuant to Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. For the reasons that follow petitioners' motion for summary judgment is granted while respondent's motion is denied.

 The essential facts are not in dispute. Petitioner Flight Engineers' International Association (FEIA) is the duly certified and recognized exclusive bargaining representative of flight engineers employed by respondent Trans World Airlines (TWA). Flight Engineers on TWA constitute a separate and autonomous craft and class. Pilots on TWA constitute a separate and distinct craft and class and are represented by the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), which is not a party to this proceeding. FEIA and ALPA have separate agreements with TWA.

 Petitioner, Ingimar Thorgeirsson, was employed by TWA as a flight engineer from September 27, 1965 to January 9, 1967. It is undisputed that his services as a flight engineer were entirely satisfactory.

 On January 9, 1967, Thorgeirsson voluntarily entered training for the position of pilot (first officer). Thorgeirsson's pilot training was terminated on March 3, 1967 because his progress was unsatisfactory. On March 7, 1967, he was dismissed as a TWA employee.

 At Thorgeirsson's request, separate grievances were processed under both the ALPA-TWA contract and the FEIA-TWA agreement.

 In the ALPA grievance, Thorgeirsson claimed that the pilot training afforded him by TWA was insufficient or inadequate. On or about June 13, 1967, the 4-man TWA-Pilot System Board of Adjustment, sitting without a neutral, denied Thorgeirsson's grievance on the ground that "lack of training was not a factor" in his failure to qualify successfully as a pilot. (See Exhibit G attached to petition.)

 In the FEIA grievance, Thorgeirsson requested his reinstatement as a Flight Engineer, with no loss of seniority or salary. The grievance was denied by TWA on March 29, 1967, on the ground that, at the time of his dismissal, Thorgeirsson was a pilot and, therefore, no longer subject to the FEIA agreement. (See Exhibit E attached to the petition.)

 Pursuant to § 204 of the Railway Labor Act, Section XX of the FEIA-TWA agreement provides for the establishment of a Flight Engineers' Board of Adjustment, consisting of one member designated by FEIA and one member designated by TWA. In the event of a deadlock in any case, the FEIA-TWA agreement provides for the appointment of an ad hoc neutral referee to sit as a member of the Flight Engineers' Board.

 The FEIA-TWA agreement defines the jurisdiction of the Flight Engineers' Board as follows (Section XX):

 
"(A) In compliance with Section 204, Title II, of the Railway Labor Act, as amended, there is hereby established a Board of Adjustment for the purpose of investigating, considering, and determining disputes as defined in paragraph (D) herein, which may arise under the terms of this Agreement and which are properly submitted . . .
 
"(D) The Flight Engineer's Board of Adjustment shall have jurisdiction over disputes between any employee and/or employees hereunder and the Company, growing out of dismissals of employees who have completed their probationary period and grievances or out of the interpretation or application of any provisions in this Agreement. . . .
 
"(E) The Board of Adjustment shall consider any dispute as defined in paragraph (D) herein . . .
 
"(I) When a dispute involving only the application or interpretation of the terms of this Agreement (which shall include a dispute arising from discipline or termination of an employee hereunder other than one still in his probationary period) has been properly submitted to the Board of Adjustment, the Chairman . . . shall set a date for a formal meeting . . . to consider the issue and/or issues presented which shall be within a forty-eight (48) hour period immediately prior to the date such a dispute is set for hearing before the Board and a third neutral member . . . and shall immediately select a neutral member to serve in the event of a deadlock . . . If the deadlock is not broken . . . the dispute shall ...

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