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April 15, 1948


Dear Member: 

Today, the National Airlines pilots strike is in its 72nd day. The National Airlines pilots left their planes on February 3, 1948. The man who said "time and tide wait for no man" certainly was cruising on the beam. It doesn't seem like 72 days since the National Airlines pilots strike went into effect, terminating a truce that had been in effect since November 12, 1947, during which the National Mediation Board made every possible attempt to settle the strike but was blocked at every turn by the recalcitrant efforts of National Airlines and its management, which, of course, is Baker.

The strike efforts to require National Airlines to abide by its employment agreement, the labor provisions of the Civil Aeronautics Act, and Title II of the Railway Labor Act have been progressing satisfactorily on all fronts. The strike pressure on the company has been terrific and, despite their boastings in the field, they are pleading harder and harder in Washington for financial relief from the CAB, or what's left of it.

There are many happenings in this situation, and plans are in work, the details of which cannot be divulged in a membership mailing. The reason for this is that we still have in our membership leaks to the ATA press which is most unfortunate. As one of the National pilots puts it, "This lowest form of human substance, in handing things to the ATA press, is a direct stab in the back of every National Airlines pilot pounding the hard pavement picketing in Miami, Jacksonville, New Orleans, New York, Newark, and Washington." It's unfortunate in another way. Headquarters cannot divulge the full planning and activities, in letters to the membership, that have reached gratifying proportions to require National Airlines to comply with the law and cooperate with the National Mediation Board to settle the strike. 

The legal action in this strike has become astronomical in proportion. Major legal moves are in progress in practically every city that National serves. On April 13, two suits were filed in New York against National Airlines; one for back pay and salary discrepancies, and one for damage against National for causing the strike and all the costs thereof. The last is a unique move but one that we feel is entirely justified. Companies are forever suing representing organizations and it's high time representing organizations started suing companies for causing strikes.

In Washington, ALPA's lawyers have caused a stay of the CAB order to pay Baker $545,000 back mail pay, since almost the beginning of the strike on February 3. This is the first time that a CAB order of this character was stayed in the courts of the land - truly another noteworthy page in the history of the AIR LINE PILOTS ASSOCIATION.

We have now entered the third period of National Airlines pilots strike benefit assessments; the first from February 11 to March 10, the second from March 11 to April 10, and the third is, of course, from April 11 to May 10. Generally speaking, the strike assessment 

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