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INDEPENDENT UNION OF FLIGHT ATTENDANTS v. PAN AM

January 16, 1986

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


The opinion of the court was delivered by: MCLAUGHLIN

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

McLAUGHLIN, District Judge

This is another in a series of disputes between the Independent Union of Flight Attendants ("IUFA") and Pan Am arising from the parties' efforts to negotiate a successor collective bargaining agreement following the expiration of the previous agreement on December 31, 1984.

 On October 4, 1985, the IUFA filed a motion for supplementary relief requesting that this Court enter a final order declaring the rights and obligations of the parties regarding the payment of wages pursuant to the Court's February 6, 1985 Judgment. In turn, Pan Am has filed a motion for relief from that judgment. Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b). For the reasons developed below, Pan Am's motion is granted and the action is dismissed.

 Facts

 The chronology of events in this case is summarized as follows:

 On February 6, 1985, this Court entered a Judgment which required that Pan Am maintain the wage rates set forth in the March 31, 1982 collective bargaining agreement (the "snapback rates") as the status quo pursuant to Section 6 of the Railway Labor Act, 45 U.S.C. ยง 156. The judgment was made retroactive to January 1, 1985, and was operative through April 1, 1985, at which point the parties reached a new collective bargaining agreement.

 Beginning February 15, 1985, the IUFA flight attendants who reported to work were paid pursuant to this Court's Order. However, as of late March 1985, Pan Am had not made the retroactive payments for the period of January 1, 1985 to February 15, 1985. Accordingly, the IUFA sought to hold Pan Am in contempt of court. Based upon Pan Am's representation that the retroactive snapback compensation would be paid as soon as the clerical employees returned from strike, however, the Court declined to sign the IUFA's Order to Show Cause regarding contempt.

 On or around April 1, 1985, the parties executed a "Memorandum of Understanding" regarding a new collective bargaining agreement. Almost immediately thereafter, and prior to ratification of the agreement, a dispute arose between the parties as to whether the new agreement included a promise by the union to drop certain specified lawsuits and grievances ("Item 7"). This action was listed in Item 7 as one of the cases to be withdrawn. See Plaintiff's Exhibit A.

 The issue of the inclusion of Item 7 in the new agreement was litigated extensively before the National Mediation Board, 12 NMB No.47 (1985), and before this Court, Independent Union of Flight Attendants v. Pan American World Airways, Inc., No. 85 CV 2112 (E.D.N.Y. 1985). After the Court denied the union's request for injunctive relief and after the NMB declined to interpret the agreement, the IUFA agreed to submit the April Memorandum to its membership for ratification.

 Accordingly, on July 31, 1985, the IUFA Executive Board sent the union members a packet that contained a ratification ballot and a letter explaining the ratification process.

 On or about August 30, 1985, the IUFA membership ratified the April agreement, including Item 7.

 Discussion

 Relying upon the Second Circuit's decision in Nestle Company, Inc. v. Chester's Market, Inc., et al., 756 F.2d 280 (2d Cir. 1985), Pan Am argues that the Court's February 6, 1985 Judgment should be vacated in order to effectuate the parties' agreement, as set forth in Item 7. In Nestle, the Court held that the district court had abused its discretion in denying the parties' joint motion to vacate a partial judgment where the parties had reached a settlement while an appeal was pending. Id. at 284. The IUFA argues that Nestle is inapplicable, however, since the union does not concede that a "settlement" has been ...


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