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INDEPENDENT UNION OF FLIGHT ATTENDANTS v. PAN AM

October 18, 1985

INDEPENDENT UNION OF FLIGHT ATTENDANTS, Plaintiff, v PAN AMERICAN WORLD AIRWAYS, INC., Defendant


The opinion of the court was delivered by: SWEET

SWEET, D.J.

Plaintiff Independent Union of Flight Attendants ("IUFA") filed its complaint on October 1, 1985, charging the defendant Pan American World Airways, Inc. ("Pan Am") with violating the Railway Labor Act, 45 U.S.C. § 151, et seq., by coercing and disciplining flight attendants to work in excess of their contractually-set maximum duty hours; by offering economic incentives to flight attendants who agree to waive maximum hour limitations and guaranteed rest periods, and by disciplining an IUFA bargaining representative who attempted to aid the flight attendants in this controversy, thereby chilling the representational rights guaranteed under Railway Labor Act.

 By order to show cause, IUFA moved this court for a preliminary injunction enjoining Pan Am's practice of offering such waiver incentives and enjoining the discipline of flight attendants who exercise the maximum duty hour rights in dispute. The motion was heard in Part I, the assigned judge, the Honorable Leonard B. Sand being engaged in a criminal trial. Upon the facts found below and the conclusions set forth, IUFA's motion for a preliminary injunction is granted in part and denied in part.

 The Parties

 IUFA is a labor union with its principal place of business in New York. IUFA has been duly certified and designated by the National Mediation Board, pursuant to the Railway Labor Act, as the collective bargaining representative of the flight service personnel of Pan Am for the purpose of collective bargaining representation under the Railway Labor Act.

 Pan Am is a carrier by air as defined by the Federal Aviation Act of 1958, 49 U.S.C. §§ 13001-1542, and holds Certificates of Public Convenience and Necessity pursuant to that Act, and is subject to the provision of the Railway Labor Act. Pan Am is a corporation duly organized and existing under the laws of the State of new York and maintains its principal place of business in New York.

 The Facts

 The bargaining relationship between IUFA and Pan Am has existed since IUFA was certified as the flight attendant bargaining representative in 1977. The parties' second collective bargaining agreement became effective March 31, 1982 ("1982 Agreement") and expired under its terms as amended on December 31, 1984. Pursuant to the directives of the Railway Labor Act, 45 U.S.C. § 156, the parties issued "Notices of Intended Changes" and negotiated between themselves and later under the auspices of the National Mediation Board, and reached an agreement formally executed by the parties on April 11 and April 12, 1985 ("1985 Agreement"). The three part claim in this dispute centers around two provisions of the 1985 collective bargaining agreement whose scope and meaning are hotly contested. It is generally conceded that the 1985 Agreement provided a number of "give-backs" to Pan Am from the Union in exchange for certain other provisions.

 Section 6 of the 1985 Agreement deals with "Conditions of Work and Rest," and part E of that section covers "Duty Day Limitations," or the maximum number of consecutive hours that flight attendants may be require when the flight attendants with to exercise the right to decline to depart or continue on a flight whose projected or actual duration has exceeded the duty day limitation formula set out in sections 6 E.2.a. *fn1" and 6.E.2.b. *fn2" Section 6.E.2.d. of the 1985 Agreement reads as follows:

 
d. Notification
 
In the event a Flight Attendanthas reported for a duty period and the Company notifies the Flight Attendant of a delay in the planned departure of the flight or flight segment(s), the Flight Attendant shall, in consideration of the Duty Day Limitations of paragraph E.2.a and b., indicate to the Company the deadline after s/he does not intend to effect a departure of the delayed flight or segment. Based upon such advice, the Company may release such Flight Attendant at any time after receiving such advice.
 
In so event shall a Flight Attendant be required to remain on duty in excess of h/h application duty day limitations.

 The second provision at issue in this dispute is the downline rest provision contained in section 6.G.1. of the 1985 Agreement *fn3" which provides for a minimum crew rest period of nine and one-half hours at regularly scheduled downline (i.e., at a point other than the departure point for the flight) stops where flight crews are sent to hotels before their next schedule departure. The relevant section of this provision is set out below:

 G. DOWNLINE REST

 
1. Minimum crew rest at a layover station shall be normal travel time to the layover hotel facility beginning at release from duty, minimum off-duty time (see chart below) at the hotel facility, and normal travel time to the reporting point to arrive at the required report time. Minimum actual off-duty time at the hotel shall begin when the Flight Attendant arrives at the hotel or when the hotel, having properly prepared a room, has a room key available, whichever is later.

  Scheduled Off-duty Time at the Hotel Duty Time Scheduled Actual 00:00-11:59 hours 00:00-11:59 9 1/2 hours 9 1/2 hours 12:00-13:59 hours 18 hours 12 ...


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