Federal Court Holds that ALPA Did Not Breach its Duty of Fair Representation in Connection with the Merger of Two Airlines

In a March 31, 2015 decision, the federal court for the Northern District of Georgia (Judge Richard W. Story) granted summary judgment to the Air Line Pilots Association, International, holding that it did not breach its duty of fair representation to the 120 plaintiffs in connection with the integration of the pilot groups employed by AirTran Airlines and Southwest Airlines in the aftermath of the merger of the two airlines.  See Jamison v. Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l, 12-CV-544 (N.D. Ga.).  Emphasizing the broad deference to be accorded a union in the exercise of its judgment and noting that it was not the court’s place to inquire into judgment calls made by ALPA in its negotiations,  the court held that there was no basis for finding that ALPA’s actions were arbitrary or in bad faith, and that “no reasonable trier of fact could find for Plaintiffs on this record.”

Cohen, Weiss and Simon LLP partners Stephen B. Moldof and Evan Hudson-Plush represented ALPA in this matter, along with Clay Warner of the ALPA Legal Department.

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