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TWA v. BEATY

October 16, 1975

TRANS WORLD AIRLINES, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
CHARLES W. BEATY, ET AL., Defendants


Cannella, District Judge.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: CANNELLA

CANNELLA, District Judge:

Trans World Airlines' petition for a permanent stay of arbitration under the New York Civil Practice Law and Rules §§ 7502, 7503 and for a declaratory judgment is hereby granted.

 Jurisdiction

 Jurisdiction in this case is founded upon diversity of citizenship and the Railway Labor Act (RLA), 45 U.S.C. § 151-188.

 Facts

 The Court finds and the parties have, for the most part, agreed that the factual background is as follows. On June 21, 1966, Trans World Airlines (TWA) and the Flight Engineers International Association, AFL-CIO (FEIA), the then recognized collective bargaining representative under the RLA for TWA's Flight Engineers, entered into an agreement in settlement of a dispute with respect to the crew complement on jet aircraft. That agreement (hereinafter referred to as the Crew Complement Agreement) obligated TWA (1) to offer to all TWA employees then classified as A and A1 Flight Engineers the prior right as against other flight crew members to bid for and occupy all flight engineer positions required by TWA's operations until the Engineer's retirement, voluntary resignation or discharge for cause, and (2) to enter into an individual agreement with each Flight Engineer to that effect. At the time the Crew Complement Agreement was entered into, each of the defendants herein was employed by TWA as an A Flight Engineer.

 In August, 1966, TWA and FEIA agreed upon the form of the individual agreements. The pertinent sections of the agreement are as follows:

 
"NOW THEREFORE, in consideration of the mutual provisions hereinafter set forth and of the mutual promises set forth by and on behalf of the Company and Flight Engineer in the aforesaid Agreement of June 21, 1962, and in consideration of past services rendered, it is agreed:
 
"1. So long as the Company includes, or is required by law or federal regulation to include as members of any of its cockpit flight crews more than two airmen, and one or more of such airmen is assigned to perform the flight engineering function . . ., the Company agrees that it will offer to Flight Engineer the prior right as against flight crew members other than flight engineers to bid for and occupy any flight engineer positions required by the Company's operations. . . .
 
"2. This Agreement shall survive the expiration of the current and any future collective bargaining agreement between the Company and the Association . . . and shall continue in full force and effect until Flight Engineer's retirement, voluntary resignation or discharge for cause.
 
. . .
 
". . .
 
"5. In the event that the Company threatens to sign any agreement or to take any action which denies or will, immediately or in the future, directly result in the denial of Flight Engineer's prior right to bid for and occupy the flight engineer's position, as provided herein and in the aforesaid Agreement of June 21, 1962, or which modifies, varies from, or is inconsistent therewith, or if the Company has signed such an agreement or has taken such action, Flight Engineer shall have the right to assert his objection to the Company by notice in writing by registered mail or by telegram. The Company shall reply to said objection within four (4) calendar days by registered mail or telegram. If Flight Engineer deems said reply to be unsatisfactory, he may, within four (4) calendar days, submit his said objection to Nathan Feinsinger or if he is unable to serve, to James C. Hill, as arbitrator. The said arbitrator shall immediately communicate with the Company and Flight Engineer for the purpose of inquiring as to the nature and merit of Flight Engineer's objection. If, following such inquiry the arbitrator believes that in order to preserve Flight Engineer's right as herein defined it is necessary to direct the Company to refrain from taking the action objected to ...

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