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BLACKLISTED PILOTS NATIONWIDE MAY SUE UNION, VIRGINIA HIGH COURT RULES

 RICHMOND, Va., Feb. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- A ruling issued today by the Virginia Supreme Court opens the door for over 2,200 pilots blacklisted by their union for working during the 1989 Eastern strike to sue the union in Virginia court.
 The case, Aron Krantz v. Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), stems from a campaign by pilot union officials to retaliate against pilots who worked or offered to work at any point during the strike. From their Herndon, Va., headquarters, union officials printed and distributed 50,000 copies of a blacklist containing the pilots' names throughout the airline industry.
 With the court's ruling, the pilots are free to sue the union for "intentional interference" with their "prospective business relations" in violation of Virginia tort law. Capt. Krantz, who is represented by attorneys from the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, has sued pilot union officials for $1 million in compensation and punitive damages.
 "Having crushed over 2,200 pilots simply for trying to support themselves and their families, ALPA officials could be liable for billions of dollars," said Foundation Executive Vice President Rex H. Reed. "Perhaps then they will learn a little respect for the law and individual rights."
 Krantz, a Vermont resident, supported the strike throughout the spring and summer of 1989. He only offered to return to work after high-level union officials advised the pilots to return to work to save their jobs and the airline. But soon afterward, union militants sacked those officials who had called for an end to the strike and added the names of those pilots who took the officials' advice to their so-called "Scab" lists.
 While waiting for Eastern to recall him in September 1989, Krantz had a successful first job interview with United Air Lines. But when union member Richard Nottke learned of Krantz's interview, he uploaded a message onto the union's electronic bulletin board at its Virginia headquarters imploring fellow members, "(D)on't let this scab get away with it ... make him sorry he forgot what side he was on."
 Subsequently, United canceled Krantz's second interview and refused to hire him. Although many pilots have been hired since the strike ended, neither Krantz or any of the other 2,242 pilots on the blacklist have found work with a major airline.
 In its ruling today, the Virginia high court rejected ALPA lawyers' claim that the dispute is covered under the federal Railway Labor Act, and therefore, is not subject to Virginia law. The court also held that Nottke's actions were sufficient to bring the New York resident within Virginia jurisdiction and that he as well as ALPA can now be tried in the Fairfax County Circuit Court.
 The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is a non-profit, charitable organization providing free legal aid to employees whose human or civil rights have been violated by compulsory unionism abuses. The foundation is representing thousands of employees in nearly 400 cases nationwide.
 -0- 2/26/93
 /CONTACT: Tim McConville or David Kendrick of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, 703-321-8510 or 800-336-3600/


CO: National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation ST: District of Columbia IN: AIR SU:

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IH-MH -- DC020 -- 0880 02/26/93 12:57 EST
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Date:Feb 26, 1993
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