The opinion of the court was delivered by: MCLAUGHLIN
McLAUGHLIN, District Judge
This is an action under the Railway Labor Act ("RLA"), 45 U.S.C. § 151 et seq. Plaintiff union seeks a preliminary injunction ordering Pan American World Airways, Inc. ("Pan Am") to observe certain recall, furlough and seniority rules and practices in the course of recalling employees who previously were on strike.
The International Brotherhood of Teamsters ("IBT") represents some 6,200 clerical and related employees, supply clerks and nurses employed by Pan Am, of which some 5,800 were actively employed on February 27, 1985. Pan Am and the IBT have entered into successive collective bargaining agreements since 1969. The most recent collective bargaining agreement was, by its terms, in effect from January 1, 1978 through December 31, 1981. That agreement, as amended, has been extended by the parties, most recently by a supplemental agreement expiring on December 31, 1984.
In the fall of 1984, the parties exchanged notices pursuant to Section 6 of the RLA, indicating their desire to renegotiate certain terms of the Agreement. The parties have not yet exhausted the mandatory procedures of the RLA regarding their respective proposals. Consequently, the terms of the basic agreement remain in effect pursuant to the section 6 "status quo" requirement.
Although Pan Am and the IBT have not exhausted the statutory procedures regarding their contract dispute, Pan Am did exhaust those procedures in its dispute with Transport Worker's Union ("TWU"). Accordingly, on February 28, 1985, the TWU-represented employees went on strike. the TWU picket lines were honored by the IBT-represented employees.
To avoid potential claims for pay by those IBT members who might not support the sympathy strike and who would be willing to work, Pan Am immediately invoked Article 14 of the agreement. Pursuant to the terms of Article 14, Pan Am informed all IBT members that because of the strike no work existed and they were not to report to work until further notice.
The Airline Pilots Association, International ("ALPA") and the Flight Engineers' International Association ("FEIA"), whose members initially honored the TWU picket lines, subsequently entered temporary "back to work" agreements with Pan Am. These agreements provided that the employees would return to work, on a limited operations schedule, with no reprisals or recriminations by Pan Am. The IBT, however, continued to honor the TWU strike.
Around March 10, 1985, Pan Am began to increase flight service. Accordingly, some IBT members were notified to return to work. Most of the notified employees, however, refused to return to work, and continued to honor the TWU picket lines.
Pan Am then sent mailgrams to IBT members whose jobs had not been re-activated, notifying them that work was available, and requesting that they express their desire to fill certain open positions for the duration of the strike.
On March 23, 1985, a tentative agreement was reached by Pan Am and the TWU, thus, settling their dispute. Accordingly, Pan Am began taking steps to expand its operations. Because Pan Am realized that its return to normal operations would take time, it negotiated a gradual return-to-work agreement with the TWU. Pan Am also attempted, without success, to negotiate a return-to-work agreement with the IBT that would provide for the orderly return of Teamster employees as work became available. The union's position, essentially, was that Pan Am's proposed agreement constituted an abrogation of seniority rights since it would permit Pan Am to leapfrog senior employees for extended periods while calling back junior employees.
On March 27, 1985, the TWU employees ratified their contract. Subsequently, the IBT members who had been on strike attempted to return to work en masse. At that point, Pan Am was operating at approximately 50% of its capacity. Pan Am gave assignments to those workers for whom work was available, but again invoked Article 14 as to the remainder of the IBT-represented employees for whom there was no work. Pan Am has to date recalled approximately 3,900 IBT members.
The union now sues to enjoin Pan Am to follow the seniority, furlough and recall procedures contained in the Agreement. The Agreement establishes seniority classifications on both the district and system-wide levels. The Agreement details the procedures the Company must follow if there is a reduction in force. Essentially, the Agreement allows senior employees who are to be laid-off to exercise displacement rights as to positions held by ...