Aircraft Services Int'l v. Working Wash.

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Labor Law
  • Date Filed: 03-10-2015
  • Case #: 12-36026
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: En Banc: Circuit Judge Owens for the Court; Circuit Judges Kozinski, O'Scannlain, Kleinfeld, Silverman, Graber, Paez, Tallman, Hurwitz, and Owens; Concurrence by Circuit Judge Berzon; Dissent by Circuit Judge Friedland
  • Full Text Opinion

Before an airline may seek a preliminary injunction to prevent a labor strike, it must first comply with Section 8 of the Norris-LaGuardia Act.

Aircraft Service International Group ("ASIG") was granted a preliminary injunction in federal district court to prohibit its employees from conducting a labor strike. ASIG refuels nearly three-quarters of the airplanes at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Employees for ASIG voted to strike after an employee was suspended. The employees of ASIG are not unionized, but Working Washington, a local coalition organized to promote jobs, was involved in holding the strike vote and publicizing the outcome of the vote. The district court granted the preliminary injunction using the four factors of the Winter v. Natural Res. Def. Council, Inc. test. The district court also ruled that the Railway Labor Act (“RLA”) applied to the case, and the Norris-LaGuardia Act (“NLGA”) did not apply. RLA was passed to prevent employees of common carriers from striking. NLGA was later passed to prevent employers from seeking in federal court a preliminary injunction to stop a labor strike. Section 4 of the NLGA specifically prohibits federal courts from issuing an injunction to stop employees from striking. Section 8 of the NLGA requires employers to “make every reasonable effort to settle such dispute” without interference of the court. The Ninth Circuit held that in cases where RLA may apply, the court must still apply Section 8 of the NLGA to determine if an injunction is appropriate. The panel did not see on the record any place where ASIG had used any means to settle the dispute before seeking an injunction. REVERSED AND VACATED.

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