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Authors

Jay M. Dade

Abstract

When an employer and employee-representative union engage in collective bargaining negotiations, their negotiating activities are covered under the auspices of the Railway Labor Act.2 The Act, particularly applicable today in the tumultuous airline industry, established a rather elaborate mechanism for negotiation, mediation, voluntary arbitration, and conciliation to avoid interruptions to interstate commerce, to protect employees' freedom of association with respect to labor unions, and to provide prompt and orderly dispute settlements. 3 Indispensable to this scheme, Section 152, First of the Act imposes a statutory obligation upon the parties to such negotiations to bargain in good faith.4 In International Ass 'n of Machinists & Aerospace Workers v. Transportes Aereos Mercantiles Pan Americandos, S.A., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit determined that the RLA precluded the airline from making unilateral changes in working conditions at the outset of collective bargaining negotiations in that to hold otherwise would be to allow the airline an unbargained-for advantage against its counterpart union.5 This Note examines to what extent the duty imposed by Section 2, First affects the relative positions of the negotiating parties and how the goals of the Act were affected by the court's holding.

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