Plaintiffs-appellants appeal from a judgment entered on August 29, 1990 in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Griesa, J.), dismissing a class action suit brought against defendants-appellees United Airlines, Inc. ("United") and the Association of Flight Attendants ("AFA"), asserted under the Railway Labor Act ("RLA"), 45 U.S.C. §§ 151 et seq. (1988), the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act ("LMRDA"), 29 U.S.C. §§ 411, 412 (1988) and provisions of the Federal Arbitration Act ("FAA"), 9 U.S.C. §§ 10, 11 (1988). In the complaint, appellants sought to vacate an arbitral award and sought damages, based on alleged breach of the statutory duty of fair representation, enforcement of compulsory union membership, improper dues assessment and breach of contract by appellees.
1103*1103 Appellants are 1202 former flight attendants of Pan American World Airways, Inc. ("Pan Am"), who began working for United after United purchased Pan Am's Pacific Division, in which they had been employed. On appeal, they contend that the district court improperly dismissed their petition for vacatur of the arbitration award because they were not parties to the agreement providing for the arbitration and because certain conduct of the AFA during the arbitration violated its duty to represent all its members fairly. Appellants also argue that the district court improperly dismissed on statute of limitations grounds their claims that the AFA ran an illegal "closed shop" and unlawfully raised their union dues, and that United improperly had given financial assistance to incumbent United employees to engage in the arbitration.
We hold that, because appellants participated voluntarily and actively in the arbitration process, they are bound by its outcome and the district court therefore properly dismissed their petition to vacate the award. We also hold that appellants' claims of breach of the AFA's duty of fair representation, impermissible enforcement of compulsory union membership and improper financial assistance by United are time-barred. With regard to the unlawful dues increase claim, we hold that, under Reed v. United Transp. Union, 488 U.S. 319, 109 S.Ct. 621, 102 L.Ed.2d 665 (1989), appellants are not barred by the applicable statute of limitations from presenting this claim, but that it fails on its merits. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the district court.
Miner '56, Roger J., "Gvozdenovic v. United Air Lines, Inc., 933 F. 2d 1100 - Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit 1991" (1991). Circuit Court Opinions. 313.