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Labor Relations in the Aviation and Aerospace Industries

Robert W. Kaps, J. Scott Hamilton, Timm J. Bliss

Publication Year: 2012

In this textbook designed for courses on aviation labor relations, the authors-experts with many years of experience in these sectors-examine and evaluate the labor process for all aspects of the aviation and aerospace industries, including aerospace manufacturing, airlines, general aviation, federal and state administrative agencies, and public airports.

Divided into three parts-Public Policy and Labor Law; Principles, Practices and Procedures in Collective Bargaining and Dispute Resolution; and the Changing Labor Relations Environment-the book provides an overview of the industries and the development of US labor law and policy, then explores the statutory, regulatory, and case laws applicable to each industry segment before concluding with an examination of current and developing issues and trends. The authors present the evolution of aviation and aerospace labor laws, going as far back as the early nineteenth century to lay the historical foundation, and cover the development and main features of the principal statutes governing labor relations in the United States today, the Railway Labor Act, the National Labor Relations Act, and the Civil Service Reform Act. They also investigate the growth of the industries and their impact on labor relations, as well as the current issues and challenges facing management and labor in each segment of this dynamic, sometimes volatile, business and their implications for collective bargaining. Twenty case studies not only illuminate practical applications of such fundamental concepts as unfair labor practices and unions' duty of fair representation but also enliven the subject, preparing the reader to use the concepts in real-world decision making. 

A study guide with review questions, online assignments, supplemental readings, and exercises is available for students. For those teachers using the textbook in their courses, there is an instructor's manual with additional resources for developing courses in the classroom, online, or by blended learning, as well as a variety of assignments and materials to enhance and vary the mock negotiation exercise. 

A revision and expansion of Robert W. Kaps's Air Transport Labor Relations, this outstanding new volume provides students and teachers with valuable information and perspectives on industries that are highly dependent on technologically skilled labor. Labor Relations in the Aviation and Aerospace Industries offers a sweeping and thorough treatment of labor relations, public policy, law, and practice and is the definitive work on the labor process in the aviation and aerospace sectors.

Published by: Southern Illinois University Press

Book Title

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Contents in Brief

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pp. v-vi


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pp. vii-x


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pp. xi-xii

Case Studies

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pp. xiii-xiv

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pp. xv-xvi

Unlike any other industry, labor-management relations and collective bargaining in aviation encompass the entire range of U.S. labor law. Other current labor-relations texts focus almost exclusively on the National Labor Relations Act of 1935 (NLRA) as administered by the National Labor ...

Part One: Foundations of Labor Law and Policy

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1. Public Policy and Labor Law

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pp. 3-25

This book is about U.S. transportation labor law and the public policy decisions that shaped it. As is true with many abstract concepts, no single, widely accepted definition of the term public policy exists. The term public has many connotations, depending on context and perspective. The term public is relative, and as Miles’ Law states, “Where you stand depends upon where you sit.”1 In the context of policy initiatives as used throughout this book, the term public relates to the government....

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2. The Violent Beginnings of U.S. Labor Law

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pp. 26-52

The railroads and airlines are intertwined in both background and regulation. Their evolutions in the United States parallel each other. Thomas Moore comments, “The current situation of railways is only intelligible in the context of history.”1 This holds for the air industry as well....

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3. Major Collective Bargaining Legislation

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pp. 53-78

Labor movement formation peaked in the mid-1920s for the railroad industry and in the mid- 1930s for the remainder of the industrialized workforce. The government’s segregated approach to labor-relations legislation allowed the railroad-industry unions to emerge and evolve at a more rapid pace than the other craft and industrial associations. Despite the plethora of legislative and judicial setbacks experienced by...

Part Two: Principles, Practices, and Procedures in Collective Bargaining and Dispute Resolution

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4. Elections, Certifications, and Procedures

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pp. 81-108

The election and certification process under the RLA and the NLRA require an understanding of the bargaining unit from an employees’ point of view. The two acts are broad in nature and are federally mandated, but their coverage does not necessarily extend to all employers or employees. This chapter specifies the jurisdiction of the various statutes of both acts. Whether workers, unions, and employers are covered by the provisions of the acts depends on the statutory...

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5. Negotiating the Collective Bargaining Agreement

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pp. 109-132

Management and labor are mutually dependent for their continued existence, but within this dependent relationship is a pervasive philosophic conflict. One of management’s primary objectives is to minimize costs, particularly labor costs. Naturally, labor seeks the highest wages and fringe benefits possible. Furthermore, management believes that it has the duty and responsibility to make all decisions concerning the business, but labor argues for a voice in these decisions....

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6. Unfair Labor Practices

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pp. 133-150

Unfair labor practices apply to the entire collective bargaining process from initial election of a bargaining representative through negotiation of the bargaining agreement to application and interpretation of the agreement in practice. This chapter deals primarily with the involvement of such practices in the selection of a representative and in the organizational process....

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7. Grievance Procedures

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pp. 151-162

Grievance procedures are a fundamental component of any union contract. Under the RLA, arbitration of grievances is mandatory for the airline (and railroad) industry. For other industries, the NLRA lists grievance procedures as one of the mandatory bargaining issues, but the language of the NLRA is not explicit about the procedures that must be employed in resolving grievance disputes, leaving the parties to agree to standard grievance procedures in their contract. Under the Civil Service Reform Act, grievance procedures meeting certain ...

Part Three: The Changing Labor Relations Environment

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8. The Airline Industry

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pp. 165-203

The airline industry is a major component of the U.S. economy, with annual operating revenues of almost $155 billion in 2009. Airlines are both capital intensive, requiring hundreds of billions of dollars of investment in equipment and facilities, and labor intensive, with U.S. airlines employing over 536,000 people in 2009.1...

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9. The Aerospace Industry

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pp. 204-226

The U.S. aerospace industry includes companies producing aircraft, missiles, spacecraft, aircraft engines, propulsion units, and related parts for both civil and military customers as well as companies performing aircraft overhaul, rebuilding, conversion, and salvaging. The industry is dominated by a few large firms, such as Boeing and Lockheed-Martin, that contract with private businesses and governments to produce aircraft and subcontract with smaller firms to produce component systems and parts.1...

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10. General Aviation

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pp. 227-235

General aviation (GA) is a broad term from the Federal Aviation Act of 1958 encompassing all but military and airline aviation operations. The industry is characterized by its remarkable diversity, which includes flight training, personal flying in private aircraft for transportation or recreation, crop spraying, aerial firefighting, emergency medical transport, air freight feeders, search and rescue, disaster relief, aerial imaging, law enforcement, transportation of business and government executives, air sightseeing, news gathering and ...

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11. The Public Sector

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pp. 236-260

A variety of government agencies, federal, state, and local, engage in civil aviation activities. At the federal level, the FAA has over 44,000 permanent employees, including over 33,000 in the agency’s air traffic organization, almost 7,000 in aviation safety, 471 in airports, 56 in commercial space transportation, and almost 4,000 in staff offices (see fig. 11.1).1 The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) employs air-safety ...

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Appendix A: The Railway Labor Act

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pp. 261-293

When used in this chapter and for the purposes of this chapter—
First. The term “carrier” includes any railroad subject to the jurisdiction of the Surface Transportation Board, any express company that would have been subject to subtitle IV of title 49, “United States Code, as of December 31, 1995,” and any company which is directly or indirectly owned or controlled by or under common control ...

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Appendix B: The National Labor Relations Act

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pp. 294-323

Section 1 [§151.] The denial by some employers of the right of employees to organize and the refusal by some employers to accept the procedure of collective bargaining lead to strikes and other forms of industrial strife or unrest, which have the intent or the necessary effect of burdening or obstructing commerce by (a) impairing the efficiency, safety, or operation of the instrumentalities of commerce; (b) occurring in the current of commerce; (c) materially affecting ...


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pp. 323-344


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pp. 345-352


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pp. 353-366

Author Biographies

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pp. 367-368

Back Cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9780809390014
Print-ISBN-13: 9780809330430

Publication Year: 2012