as the bargaining representative of Western employees must dissolve with the merger. It also contends that a fundamental question of post-merger representation is presented, and that since issues of representation are current and directly involved the System Board lacks jurisdiction under the RLA and the issues fall under the exclusive jurisdiction of the National Mediation Board.
The situation presented by these conflicting positions is not one of first impression. Other federal courts have confronted similar labor disputes and their consistent recognition of the primary role of the National Mediation Board in resolving questions of representation has governed. Pursuant to the RLA, 45 U.S.C. §§ 155, 181 and 183, Congress has clearly relegated all cases involving the representation of airline employees for collective bargaining purposes to the exclusive jurisdiction of the National Mediation Board. See General Committee of Adjustment v. Missouri-K.-T. Ry., 320 U.S. 323, 335-38, 88 L. Ed. 76, 64 S. Ct. 146 (1943); Switchmen's Union v. National Mediation Board, 320 U.S. 297, 303-07, 88 L. Ed. 61, 64 S. Ct. 95 (1943); International Brotherhood of Teamsters v. Texas International Airlines, Inc., 717 F.2d 157, 161-62 (5th Cir. 1983); Air Line Pilots Association v. Texas International Airlines, Inc., 656 F.2d 16, 22-24 (2d Cir. 1981). See also 9 T. Kheel, Labor Law § 50.07 (1986).
Where both representational issues and "minor" disputes which arguably may not involve representational issues are involved in a single dispute, it is not the role of a court to attempt to define such minor issues and require they be segregated for evaluation by the System Board. As a practical matter the issues inevitably overlap, and any attempt to divide jurisdiction between the System Board and the National Mediation Board would defeat the purposes of the RLA.
This is particularly true in merger situations where representational issues inevitably arise and it is "impossible to look only to the existence of a collective bargaining agreement and to isolate it from the other operational and representational matters." International Brotherhood of Teamsters, supra, 717 F.2d at 163. Thus, in cases presenting union challenges to airline mergers, "where a representation dispute appears on the face of the complaint . . . the court is bound to dismiss the action." Air Line Pilots Association, International, supra 656 F.2d at 24 (citing Ruby v. American Airlines, Inc., 323 F.2d 248 (2d Cir. 1963) (Friendly, J.), cert. denied, 376 U.S. 913, 11 L. Ed. 2d 611, 84 S. Ct. 658 (1964)).
There can be no question that the issue of post-merger representation is presented by this dispute. AFA itself recognized in its memorandum in support of summary judgment that a System Board arbitrator might bind Delta to the 1984 agreement "if it wants to proceed with an operational merger," or might otherwise take action that would require Delta, a non-party to the 1984 agreement, to set Western's flight attendants apart from Delta's flight attendants regardless of operational requirements.
For AFA to characterize this as a minor dispute wholly within the province of the System Board ignores the reality of the situation and constitutes an attempt to circumvent procedures clearly mandated by Congress for resolution of disputes by the National Mediation Board under the RLA. See, e.g., Air Line Employees Association, International v. Republic Airlines, Inc, 798 F.2d 967, 968-69 (7th Cir. 1986) (per curiam), cert. denied, 479 U.S. 962, 107 S. Ct. 458, 93 L. Ed. 2d 404 (1986); International Brotherhood of Teamsters, supra, 717 F.2d at 160-61; Air Line Pilots Association, International, supra, 656 F.2d at 23-24.
AFA is entitled to no relief from this Court, and its motion for summary judgment is denied. Western is granted summary judgment and the complaint is dismissed with prejudice. An appropriate Order is filed herewith.
Upon consideration of plaintiff's motion for summary judgment and defendant's cross-motion for summary judgment and the briefs and exhibits filed on each motion, for the reasons stated in a memorandum filed herewith, it is hereby
ORDERED that plaintiff's motion is denied; and it is further
ORDERED that defendant's cross-motion is granted, and plaintiff's complaint dismissed with prejudice; and it is further
ORDERED that each party shall bear its own costs.
February 20, 1987.