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PIEDMONT AIRLINES, INC. v. AIR LINE PILOTS ASSN.

August 5, 1994

PIEDMONT AIRLINES, INC.
v.
AIR LINE PILOTS ASSOCIATION



The opinion of the court was delivered by: HERBERT J. HUTTON

 HUTTON, J.

 Presently before the Court are defendant's Motion to Dismiss, plaintiff's response and defendant's reply.

 I. BACKGROUND

 In August, 1992, Piedmont Airlines, Inc. ("Piedmont") and the Air Line Pilots Association ("ALPA") began negotiations for a successor collective bargaining agreement. In April, 1993, the parties invoked the mediatory services of the National Mediation Board ("NMB"). During the summer of 1993, the ALPA and the ALPA's governing unit for Piedmont pilots, the Piedmont Master Executive Council ("MEC"), became dissatisfied with Piedmont's position on several key issues. In an effort to coerce Piedmont into changing its bargaining position, the defendants devised the "no waivers, no favors" program.

 Under this program, the defendants envisioned that Piedmont pilots would refuse to volunteer for "open flights", i.e., flights where no specific flight crew was originally assigned. They believed that this would result in a decrease in the number of Piedmont flights which, in turn, would result in a concomitant loss of profits for the airline. On August 9, 1993, Bob H. Pantazis, the Chairman of MEC, penned a letter to all Piedmont pilots announcing the "no waivers, no favors" program. According to Piedmont's complaint, the program had its intended result: it forced Piedmont to cancel dozens of flights, which resulted in a substantial loss of profits for the company.

 On March 10, 1994, Piedmont filed a complaint, claiming that the ALPA violated the status quo provisions of the Railway Labor Act ("RLA"), 45 U.S.C. § 156, and its duty to bargain in good faith. The complaint seeks the following relief: (1) an injunction prohibiting the ALPA from disrupting Piedmont's normal airline operations; (2) a declaration that the ALPA's concerted refusal to fly violated § 152, First and § 156; and (3) compensatory damages.

 On March 28, 1994, the parties reached an agreement on a new contract. This agreement is not final, however, since it is still subject to ratification by the ALPA. On April 1, 1994, the ALPA informed its pilots that the "no waivers, no favors" program was over, and in its brief it maintains that "[it] has no plans to resume the campaign."

 In the instant motion, the defendant moves to dismiss the complaint in its entirety. It claims that the plaintiff's claims for declaratory and injunctive relief must be dismissed as moot since the parties have reached a new agreement, and it claims that the plaintiff's claim for monetary damages must be dismissed since the Railway Labor Act does not create a right of action for damages.

 II. DISCUSSION

 A. Standard

 Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a) requires that a plaintiff's complaint set forth "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief . . . ." Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a). Defendant has moved to dismiss the complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). When considering a motion to dismiss, this Court shall take all allegations contained in the complaint as true and construe them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. H.J. Inc. v. Northwest Bell Tel. Co., 492 U.S. 229, 249-50, 106 L. Ed. 2d 195, 109 S. Ct. 2893 (1989). The complaint shall only be dismissed if "'it is clear that no relief could be granted under any set of facts that could be proved consistent with the allegations.'" Id. (quoting Hishon v. King & Spalding, 467 U.S. 69, 73, 81 L. Ed. 2d 59, 104 S. Ct. 2229 (1984)); Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46, 2 L. Ed. 2d 80, 78 S. Ct. 99 (1957).

 B. The Railway Labor Act

 The RLA, which governs collective bargaining relationships in the railroad and airline industries, was crafted to avoid interruptions to commerce in those vital industries. It requires management and labor "to exert every reasonable effort to make and maintain agreements concerning rates of pay, rules, and working conditions, and to settle all disputes . . . in order to avoid any interruption to commerce." 45 U.S.C. § 152, First. To further this purpose, the Act provides for two separate dispute resolution procedures: one for disputes arising out of the formation of ...


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