Judge Miner's opinion begins on page 996.
Appellant Martin R. Shugrue, Jr., Chapter 11 Trustee for Eastern Airlines, Inc. (Eastern), appeals from an order entered April 10, 1990 in the Southern District of New York, Robert W. Sweet, District Judge, reversing two orders of the bankruptcy court that stayed attempts by the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA) to arbitrate a dispute arising out of their collective bargaining agreement with Eastern and to prosecute a lawsuit seeking to enjoin Eastern's practice of wet-leasing aircraft and crews as violative of the collective bargaining agreement.
On March 9, 1989, Eastern filed a petition for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code. Subsequently, ALPA, which was engaged in a sympathy strike against Eastern, sought relief from the automatic stay to initiate an arbitration to determine whether labor protective provisions (LPPs) in the collective bargaining agreement had been triggered by Eastern's merger with Continental. The bankruptcy court, Burton R. Lifland, Chief Bankruptcy Judge, denied that petition. In re Ionosphere Clubs, Inc., 105 B.R. 765 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y.1989) (the LPP-decision).
After the strike began and after Eastern filed its petition for reorganization, Eastern entered into wet-lease contracts with Continental. Wet-leasing is a practice by which one airline leases aircraft and crews from another airline. ALPA commenced an action in the Southern District of Florida, seeking to enjoin this practice as violative of its collective bargaining agreement with Eastern. In response, Eastern commenced an adversary proceeding in the bankruptcy court to enjoin ALPA from prosecuting the Florida action. The bankruptcy court, Burton R. Lifland, Chief Bankruptcy Judge, held that ALPA's action was violative of the automatic stay and enjoined its prosecution pursuant to its powers under 11 U.S.C. § 105(a) (1988). In re Ionosphere Clubs, Inc., 105 B.R. 773 (Bankr.S.D.N.Y.1989) (the wet-lease decision).
ALPA appealed both bankruptcy court orders to the district court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 158(a) (1988). The district court reversed them both. The court held that 11 U.S.C. § 1113(f) (1988) precludes the application of the automatic stay and the bankruptcy court's equitable powers to any proceeding brought by a union to enforce a collective bargaining agreement against a debtor, unless and until the debtor complies with the provisions of § 1113, which regulates the termination or modification of collective bargaining agreements by a debtor in bankruptcy. In re Ionosphere Clubs, Inc., 114 B.R. 379 (S.D.N.Y.1990).
On appeal, Eastern contends that (1) § 1113(f) of the Bankruptcy Code does not preclude application of the automatic stay 987*987 provisions of § 362 or of the bankruptcy court's equitable powers under § 105 to ALPA's attempts to enforce the collective bargaining agreement outside the bankruptcy court; and (2) the bankruptcy court decisions should be reinstated.
For the reasons that follow, we affirm the district court's order as to the LPP-decision and reverse its order as to the wet-lease decision. We remand the case to the district court for further consideration.
Miner '56, Roger J., "In re Ionosphere Clubs, Inc., 922 F. 2d 984 - Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit 1990" (1990). Circuit Court Opinions. 305.