Mechanics Sue Metropolitan Airports Commission For Denying Constitutional Right To Picket

BLOOMINGTON, Minn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 21, 2005--Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association Local 33, which represents striking Northwest Airlines mechanics, cleaners and custodians, is filing a lawsuit today in Hennepin County District Court against the Metropolitan Airports Commission. Local 33 President Ted Ludwig explained, "We had no choice but to sue because the MAC is restricting our constitutional right to picket."

The mechanics formally requested to picket along Northwest Drive at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport because of the high visibility of that location. Picketing at this and other high-visibility sites is vital for communicating about AMFA's labor dispute to the general public and to so-called replacement workers. The MAC has refused to grant the union's request even though the MAC admits the union's picketing at this site is constitutionally protected.

A MAC ordinance requires the MAC to grant permits for constitutionally protected expression at the Airport. The law also requires the MAC to provide a hearing if it denies a permit request. MAC takes the position that it will neither grant a permit nor provide a hearing on the Northwest Drive picketing request, however. Ludwig said, "The MAC won't give us a permit or a hearing. That illegally puts us in a double bind."

The union's lawsuit asks the Court to order the MAC to issue the requested permit for the union to exercise its constitutional rights of free speech and assembly.

CONTACT: MILLER-O'BRIEN, PLLP Brendan Cummins, 612-333-5831 or Justin Cummins, 612-961-1614 KEYWORD: MINNESOTAINDUSTRY KEYWORD: LEGAL/LAW AIRLINES TRANSPORTATION CLASS ACTION LAWSUITSSOURCE: AMFA Local 33

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