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Airline Pilots Association, International, AFL-CIO v. TACA International Airlines

748 F.2d 965 (1984)

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Airline Pilots Association, International, AFL-CIO v. TACA International Airlines

United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

748 F.2d 965 (1984)

Facts

TACA International Airlines, S.A. (TACA) (defendant) was a Salvadoran airline that conducted some operations in the United States and maintained its pilot base in New Orleans. TACA had a collective-bargaining agreement with its pilots, who were all members of the Airline Pilots Association, International, AFL-CIO (association) (plaintiff). In 1982, the United States and El Salvador signed an agreement agreeing to comply with the air-transportation labor laws of each country while operating in that country. The following year, the Salvadoran constitution was amended to require all Salvadoran public-service companies, including airlines, to locate their base of operations in El Salvador. The government of El Salvador also specifically ordered TACA to move its pilot base to El Salvador. TACA immediately notified its pilots that it was moving its base, that the association would no longer be able to represent the pilots, and that the pilots could either accept the new situation or be terminated. The association sued TACA to enjoin the changes. The district court found that TACA’s proposed actions would violate the Railway Labor Act and entered an order temporarily preventing TACA from making the changes. TACA appealed the order, and the government of El Salvador filed an amicus curiae brief in support of the appeal. TACA did not dispute that its proposed changes would violate the act. Instead, TACA argued that the act-of-state doctrine and the foreign-compulsion defense allowed it to comply with the Salvadoran constitutional requirement even if it meant violating the act.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Politz, J.)

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