Today, as the former bargaining agent (FBA) conducted a BPR meeting in CLT, one topic likely discussed was the LMRDA lawsuit filed against current/former National officers and various BPR reps. These defendants were sued as individuals, meaning, each individual was sent a copy of the complaint and was asked to acknowledge receipt of said complaint. This is what is known in any suit as “service of process,” and doing it via certified mail is the method most preferred by the courts because it saves time and expense. To date, most of the individual defendants responded via this method but there were a few holdouts. Of course, the law provides for such contingencies and service of process can be affected in a number of different ways, including being served personally by what is known as a “process server.” The remaining defendants will be served soon.
The crux of the LMRDA suit is over the duty of the officers to wrap up the business of the former bargaining agent and disgorge the dues collected from pilots when it was the certified collective bargaining agent – a function that USAPA cannot fulfill by law any longer.
To review the timeline of this case, the complaint was filed on February 23rd, and you can download that complaint here. The case was assigned to Judge Max Cogburn of the Federal District of North Carolina. Judge Cogburn ruled on March 6th that our case was actionable under the LMRDA, and you can read his order here. Also on March 6th, a demand letter was sent to USAPA counsel demanding once again that USAPA’s officers wrap up the business and disgorge the millions of dollars back to the pilots of unused dues money. You can read this demand letter here. On March 13th, our LMRDA suit was reassigned to Judge John Conrad of the same federal district court. Recall that Judge Conrad was the judge who presided over US Airways’ injunction against USAPA for the East’s illegal job action in 2011. (You can download that order here.)
So, as we are now waiting for formal service on a few remaining defendants, the case will proceed before Judge Conrad. Of course, if the newly elected USAPA officers do not fulfill their fiduciary duties after they take office in mid-April, then most likely our complaint will need to be amended to include them as Defendants also. The new Officers/Reps terms take effect April 18th. Apparently, some of the named defendants who are leaving their USAPA officer positions believe that their vacating somehow absolves them of liability from their actions or from the reach of the law. This is not the case, they can not hide from their past actions, so trying to hide will not be fruitful.
On March 27th, our counsel filed a Motion for Temporary Restraining Order or Preliminary Injunction, before Judge Conrad. You can read this motion here. We will reiterate just what was stated in the previous demand letters: give us our money back. That’s all this LMRDA suit is about. With the filing of this lawsuit, each day and each decision that the officers of the FBA delay, obstruct and deny what their legal and ethical duties obligate them to do, will expose each of them to personal liability.
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