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The full case caption appears at the end of this opinion.

Tom Cooney, Jr. and sixteen co-plaintiffs (appellants) appeal from the district court’s [FOOTNOTE 1] grant of summary judgment in favor of Union Pacific Railroad Company (UP) on their disparate treatment claim under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), 29 U.S.C. �� 621-634. We affirm.

Background

In 1996, the government approved the merger of UP and Southern Pacific Railroad (SP). Pursuant to the labor protective conditions of New York Dock Ry v. United States, 609 F.2d 83 (2d Cir. 1979), the railroads and the Transportation-Communications Union (the Union) entered into an agreement in order to accommodate SP clerical employees who wanted to transfer to UP’s Omaha, Nebraska facility. The agreement provided that UP would offer buyouts of up to $95,000 to its employees to the extent that the number of SP employees applying for positions in Omaha exceeded the number of available positions. UP’s Omaha clerical operations were divided into six zones. The agreement, as supplemented, provided that clerks with the greatest seniority in each zone received available buyouts within the zone. In past mergers, UP had offered buyouts on the basis of system-wide seniority, instead of zone-by-zone seniority.

 
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