United Air Lines, Inc. v. Airline Div., Intern. Broth. of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen & Helpers of America (Airline Div.), No. 838

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
Writing for the CourtBefore MESKILL and NEWMAN, Circuit Judges, and CONBOY; JON O. NEWMAN
Citation874 F.2d 110
Parties131 L.R.R.M. (BNA) 2329, 57 USLW 2668, 111 Lab.Cas. P 11,134 UNITED AIR LINES, INC., Plaintiff-Appellee, v. AIRLINE DIVISION, INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF TEAMSTERS, CHAUFFEURS, WAREHOUSEMEN & HELPERS OF AMERICA ("AIRLINE DIVISION"); William Genoese, an officer of the Airline Division; Local 851, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen & Helpers of America ("Local 851"); Anthony Farina, an officer of Local 851, Defendants-Appellants. ockets 88-7940, 88-7952.
Decision Date04 May 1989
Docket NumberD,No. 838

Page 110

874 F.2d 110
131 L.R.R.M. (BNA) 2329, 57 USLW 2668,
111 Lab.Cas. P 11,134
UNITED AIR LINES, INC., Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
AIRLINE DIVISION, INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF TEAMSTERS,
CHAUFFEURS, WAREHOUSEMEN & HELPERS OF AMERICA ("AIRLINE
DIVISION"); William Genoese, an officer of the Airline
Division; Local 851, International Brotherhood of
Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen & Helpers of America
("Local 851"); Anthony Farina, an officer of Local 851,
Defendants-Appellants.
No. 838, Dockets 88-7940, 88-7952.
United States Court of Appeals,
Second Circuit.
Argued March 13, 1989.
Decided May 4, 1989.

Page 111

James A. McCall, Washington, D.C. (Stephen H. Kahn, New York City, James T. Grady, Gen. Counsel, Int'l Broth. of Teamsters, Washington, D.C., on the brief), for defendants-appellants.

Richard Schoolman, New York City (Eikenberry Futterman & Herbert, New York City, on the brief), for plaintiff-appellee.

(John R. Bolton, Asst. Atty. Gen., Anthony J. Stfinmeyer, Constance A. Wynn, Civ. Div., Dept. of Justice, Washington, D.C., Andrew J. Maloney, U.S. Atty., Brooklyn, N.Y., submitted an amicus curiae brief for the Nat. Mediation Bd.)

Before MESKILL and NEWMAN, Circuit Judges, and CONBOY, District Judge. *

JON O. NEWMAN, Circuit Judge:

This appeal concerns the scope of a federal court's equitable powers in giving effect to the Railway Labor Act, 45 U.S.C. Secs. 151-163, 181-188 (1982) ("RLA"). The precise question presented is whether a court may enjoin secondary picketing that would otherwise be lawful because a union has failed to seek judicial enforcement of the primary employer's obligation to bargain. This question arises on an appeal from the granting of a preliminary injunction by the District Court for the Eastern District of New York (I. Leo Glasser, Judge) preventing the Airline Division of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and Local 851 of the Teamsters [hereinafter "the union"] from picketing United Air Lines' ("United") Kennedy and Newark operations. The District Court ruled that a union must seek judicial enforcement of a carrier's bargaining obligation as part of the duty of all parties to "exert every reasonable effort ... to settle all disputes," 45 U.S.C. Sec. 152 First. We reject that interpretation of the RLA and therefore vacate the preliminary injunction.

Facts

This dispute arises out of an effort by the union to organize twenty-two fleet service

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workers at Virgin Atlantic Airways ("Virgin"). In the course of an organization drive, the union commenced an action claiming that six employees had been discharged because of their support for the campaign. Before trial, two of the six discharged employees were rehired. The trial concerning the remaining four employees was held on April 25 and 26, 1988, coinciding with the counting of union certification election ballots. The National Mediation Board ("NMB") conducted the election pursuant to section 152 Ninth of the RLA to determine whether the union would represent the fleet service workers in collective bargaining.

Under the NMB's balloting rules, dismissed employees may vote in certification elections only if they have an action pending before a court for reinstatement due to wrongful dismissal. 29 C.F.R. Sec. 1206.6 (1988). On April 27, the District Court for the Southern District of New York (Louis L. Stanton, Judge) found that the four employees had not been wrongfully discharged. Hodges v. Virgin Atlantic Airways, Ltd., No. 88-1370 (S.D.N.Y. June 10, 1988) (date of final judgment). The NMB was informed of the District Court decision but nevertheless included the ballots of the four plaintiffs in the certification election count that same day. 1 These four votes swung the election in the union's favor and the NMB certified the union as the fleet service workers' bargaining representative.

Virgin refused to recognize the NMB's certification because of the inclusion of the discharged employees' ballots. The union repeatedly made overtures to Virgin to negotiate. Finally, unable to bring Virgin to the bargaining table, the fleet service employees, under the union's direction, struck Virgin on July 6, picketing the airline's Newark and Kennedy terminals. The union applied to the NMB to furnish mediation services pursuant to 45 U.S.C. Sec. 152 Ninth. At a scheduled mediation session on August 8, Virgin again refused to negotiate. The union then notified United that it was planning to engage in secondary picketing at United's Newark and Kennedy terminals. Virgin then fired the striking workers and, within a week, the union began their picketing of the United job sites. The District Court granted a temporary restraining order on August 23, enjoining the secondary picketing. It then converted that order to a preliminary injunction on September 30, 1988. 697 F.Supp. 616. Recognizing that the case was one of first impression that did not admit of an obvious resolution, Judge Glasser concluded that the duty imposed by the RLA upon all parties to "exert every reasonable effort ... to settle all disputes," 45 U.S.C. Sec. 152 First, required the union to seek judicial enforcement of its certification. We understand the Judge to mean that the union was required, prior to any primary picketing, to seek a court order compelling Virgin to bargain.

Discussion

Our analysis of the validity of the District Court's injunction must reckon with competing congressional policies embodied in the RLA and the Norris-LaGuardia Act, 29 U.S.C. Secs. 101, 104 (1982), concerning the scope of federal courts' equitable powers in the resolution of labor disputes in the airline and railroad industries. The Norris-LaGuardia Act "expresses a basic policy against the injunction of activities of labor unions." International Ass'n of Machinists v. Street, 367 U.S. 740, 772, 81 S.Ct. 1784, 1802, 6 L.Ed.2d 1141 (1961). Enacted in 1932, the Act was intended to curtail widespread use of equitable relief by federal courts to prevent strikes, thus depriving unions of perhaps their most formidable weapon. See Burlington Northern R.R. v. Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees, 481 U.S. 429, 107 S.Ct. 1841, 1847, 95 L.Ed.2d 381 (1987). Section 1 of the Act denies federal courts jurisdiction to issue an injunction in any case relating to a

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labor dispute. 2 Section 4 lists specific acts, including picketing, that may not be enjoined. See 29 U.S.C. Sec. 104.

The Supreme Court has held, however, that "[i]n certain limited circumstances, the Norris-LaGuardia Act does not prevent a court from enjoining violations of the specific mandate of another labor statute." Burlington Northern, 107 S.Ct. at 1850. In particular, the Act's "basic policy" against equitable relief ...

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7 practice notes
  • In re Northwest Airlines Corp., Docket No. 06-4371-cv(L).
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Second Circuit
    • 29 Marzo 2007
    ...have bargained in bad faith." United Air Lines, Inc. v. Airline Div., Int'l Bhd. of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen & Helpers of Am., 874 F.2d 110, 114 n. 5 (2d Cir.1989); cf. Shore Line, 396 U.S. at 155 n. 23, 90 S.Ct. 294. On the other hand, the Supreme Court has expressly reserved de......
  • In re Northwest Airlines Corp., No. 05-17930(ALG).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • 14 Septiembre 2006
    ...side, not to allow a free-for-all for both sides. Yet, United Air Lines, Inc. v. Airline Division, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, 874 F.2d 110 (2d Cir.1989) suggests that a correlative right to strike arises in response to an employer's unilateral action taken in violation of the R......
  • Cooper v. Twa Airlines, LLC, No. 02-CV-3477 NGKAM.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of New York)
    • 23 Noviembre 2004
    ...in federal court to enforce their bargaining rights under the RLA. See United Air Lines, Inc. v. Airline Div., Int'l Bhd. of Teamsters, 874 F.2d 110, 115 (2d Cir.1989) (citing Virginian Ry. Co. v. System Federation No. 40, 300 U.S. 515, 57 S.Ct. 592, 81 L.Ed. 789 (1937)) (holding that a uni......
  • Cooper v. Twa Airlines, LLC, No. 02-CV-3477 (CBA).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of New York)
    • 30 Junio 2003
    ...statutory scheme the duty to bargain in good faith codified in § 2 First); United Air Lines Inc. v. Airline Div., Int'l Bhd. of Teamsters, 874 F.2d 110, 114 n. 5 (2d Cir.1989) (recognizing that the Supreme Court may have limited injunctive relief under § 2 First of the RLA to cases where th......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
7 cases
  • In re Northwest Airlines Corp., Docket No. 06-4371-cv(L).
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Second Circuit
    • 29 Marzo 2007
    ...have bargained in bad faith." United Air Lines, Inc. v. Airline Div., Int'l Bhd. of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen & Helpers of Am., 874 F.2d 110, 114 n. 5 (2d Cir.1989); cf. Shore Line, 396 U.S. at 155 n. 23, 90 S.Ct. 294. On the other hand, the Supreme Court has expressly reserved de......
  • In re Northwest Airlines Corp., No. 05-17930(ALG).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • 14 Septiembre 2006
    ...side, not to allow a free-for-all for both sides. Yet, United Air Lines, Inc. v. Airline Division, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, 874 F.2d 110 (2d Cir.1989) suggests that a correlative right to strike arises in response to an employer's unilateral action taken in violation of the R......
  • Cooper v. Twa Airlines, LLC, No. 02-CV-3477 NGKAM.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of New York)
    • 23 Noviembre 2004
    ...in federal court to enforce their bargaining rights under the RLA. See United Air Lines, Inc. v. Airline Div., Int'l Bhd. of Teamsters, 874 F.2d 110, 115 (2d Cir.1989) (citing Virginian Ry. Co. v. System Federation No. 40, 300 U.S. 515, 57 S.Ct. 592, 81 L.Ed. 789 (1937)) (holding that a uni......
  • Cooper v. Twa Airlines, LLC, No. 02-CV-3477 (CBA).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of New York)
    • 30 Junio 2003
    ...statutory scheme the duty to bargain in good faith codified in § 2 First); United Air Lines Inc. v. Airline Div., Int'l Bhd. of Teamsters, 874 F.2d 110, 114 n. 5 (2d Cir.1989) (recognizing that the Supreme Court may have limited injunctive relief under § 2 First of the RLA to cases where th......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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