Airline Labor Law in the Era of Globalization: The Need to Correct a Misreading of the Railway Labor Act

The author of this article (Paragraph No. 30,011) notes that a number of serious initiatives have been undertaken in recent years to liberalize the regulatory regime that applies to international air transport services. These include the "Open Skies" initiative of the U.S., the multilateral air transport services agreement reached by several members of Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, the proposal of the European Commission to establish a common aviation area between the European Union the the U.S., the efforts of the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development to develop model regulatory frameworks for international air cargo services, and the continued consideration by the World Trade Organization of applying the General agreement on Trade in Services to air traffic rights. All of these initiatives do or would provide U.S. air carriers greater opportunities to expand their overseas operations. According to the author, however, these initiatives have not addressed the effect of the proposed regulatory changes on the airline employees who work on board aircraft engaged in international operations. The article examines one of the shortcomings of the Railway Labor Act that already has been exposed by the existing international operations of U.S. airlines - the fact that the RLA has been interpreted not to apply to foreign-based flight crew members of U.S. carriers. The author argues that this interpretation is a misreading of the statute, contrary to its purpose and to the intent of the Congress that enacted it. The RLA, like the National Labor Relations Act, should apply to all operations of U.S. flag carriers, regardless of where they are located. The author also briefly notes some of the other labor law issues raised by the globalization initiatives.

  • Corporate Authors:

    International Aviation Law Institute

    DePaul University College of Law, 25 E Jackson Boulevard
    Chicago, IL  United States  60604
  • Authors:
    • Woerth, Duane E
  • Publication Date: 2004


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Edition: Transfer Binder 1: 2001 to 2004
  • Pagination: pp 16011-16022
  • Monograph Title: Issues in Aviation Law and Policy

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01150737
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 16 2010 12:28PM