A pilot is not a labor union.

Several labor unions arbitrated disputes with American Airlines about pilot seniority. Mackenzie v. Air Lines Pilots Association, No. 11-11098 (Dec. 23, 2014, unpublished). Two pilots sought to bring a class action to challenge the arbitration award.  The Fifth Circuit dismissed for lack of standing: “[W]hen a CBA formed pursuant to the RLA establishes a mandatory, binding grievance procedure and vests the union with the exclusive right to pursue claims on behalf of aggrieved employees, an aggrieved employee whose employment is governed by the CBA lacks standing to attack the results of the grievance process in court—the sole exception being the authorization of an aggrieved employee to bring an unfair representation claim.”  (citing Mitchell v. Continental Airlines, 481 F.3d 225 (5th Cir. 2007)).  The Court’s analysis of this issue resembles discussion about the broader topic of claim preclusion, arising from a privity relationship, based on another party’s litigation activity.

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