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Legal Research Digest 31 AIRPORT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM Sponsored by the Federal Aviation Administration February 2017 PREEMPTION OF WORKER-RETENTION AND LABOR-PEACE AGREEMENTS AT AIRPORTS This digest was prepared under ACRP Project 11-01, âLegal Aspects of Airport Programs,â for which the Transportation Research Board (TRB) is the agency coordinating the research. Under Topic 07-02, this digest was prepared by Eric T. Smith, Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell, LLP, Washington, DC. Responsible Senior Program Officer: Marci A. Greenberger Background There are over 4,000 airports in the country and most of these airports are owned by governments. A 2003 survey conducted by Airports Council InternationalâNorth America concluded that city ownership accounts for 38 percent, followed by regional airports at 25 percent, single county at 17 percent, and multi-jurisdictional at 9 percent. Primary legal services to these airports are, in most cases, provided by municipal, county, and state attorneys. Research reports and summaries produced by the Airport Continuing Legal Studies Project and published as ACRP Legal Research Digests are developed to assist these attorneys seeking to deal with the myriad of legal problems encountered during airport development and operations. Such substantive areas as eminent domain, environmental concerns, leasing, contracting, security, insurance, civil rights, and tort liability present cutting-edge legal issues where research is useful and indeed needed. Airport legal research, when conducted through the TRBâs legal studies process, either collects primary data that usually are not available elsewhere or performs analysis of existing literature. Foreword Airports are centers of economic activity and places where a great number of jobs exist. Viewed as engines of economic development, airports often become the focus of groups seeking to have an impact on the local economy and the persons who work at the airport. These groups include elected officials, the media, social activists, and labor unions. Airports are increasingly being asked, for a variety of reasons, to become involved in matters that historically were reserved for private employers to address with their own employees. Among the matters airports are becoming involved in are, potentially, setting minimum wage rates, establishing safety/training baselines, and requiring âlabor-harmonyâ or âlabor-peaceâ agreements at the subject airports. These agreements generally require that, as a condition of operating on-airport property, an organization must become signatory to some form of an agreement with a labor organization. These matters are usually injected into the conduct of on-airport business by the sponsor, includ- ing certain contractual language in the agreements between the sponsor and the business. The implications of involving the airport in such matters may be dramatic, far-reaching, and fraught with legal entanglements. This is especially true with respect to labor-harmony or labor- peace agreements. This digest is intended to serve as an overview of issues related to labor-harmony or labor-peace agreements for airport management personnel and other interested personnel, including airport authority board members or elected officials.