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April 15, 1948

A message to all ALPA members from the Master Chairman National Pilots M&E

Dear Member:

I would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere thanks to all the ALPA members who have given their time and effort as well as financial support in the furtherance of our cause. This comes from each and every ALPA member of the National Airlines Councils.

This has developed into one of the bitterest battles in air line history, which involves not only the pilots but the clerks and mechanics as well. Actually, the clerks went on strike January 23, 1948, followed by the mechanics a few hours later. The pilots continued to fly until the night of February 3, 1948, at which time it was decided by the National Airlines Master Executive Council that the operating conditions had become so deplorable that it was not wise to continue operating.

The above was in addition to the Maston G. O'Neal grievance case, which was about two and one-half years old, with no definite settlement in sight. This stalemate was due entirely to the wrong-way labor relation policies of the company's president, Mr. G. T. Baker. You have been given all the details by ALPA Headquarters and I shall not take up your time repeating.

As you probably know, the clerks and mechanics employed by National Airlines are members of the International Association of Machinists, and are in no way connected with the Air Line Pilots Association. This resulted in ALPA not being advised of their troubles or plans of action; therefore, their strike was completely unknown to us until the morning it happened, on January 23, 1948. National Airlines created immediately a bad situation by placing its pilots in the middle of this fight by trying to continue the operation full scale, with only a token mechanical force, and many of the situations manned only by the station manager. Imagine such a situation. Needless to say, the entire operation of the airline quickly became a serious problem, at least from the standpoint of the pilots and the public they were charged with the responsibility of transporting.

The pilots on this airline have never enjoyed what could, by comparison, be classed as good working conditions for any appreciable period of time. This, many records will substantiate. These records are available in the files of the Air Line Pilots Association as well as at the offices of the National Mediation Board. The letter from Chairman Douglass to Senator Pat McCarran, of March 4, 1948, (all ALPA members have a copy) constitutes a good brief summary of recent developments, and how fruitless the efforts of a government agency have been to mediate or otherwise settle disputes on National that have arisen far too frequently.

The end of this strike, at least so far as the pilots are concerned, is not yet in sight. The management of National Airlines, which is, of course, Mr. Baker, has taken the position that they are going to break the strike by fair means or foul. This has resulted in much strike-breaking activity on the part of National Airlines. The