The National Mediation Board (NMB) has refused a request from the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers Mechanical Division (SMART-MD) and Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division/IBT (BMWED) to be relieved from mediation with the National Carriers Conference Committee (NCCC).
In a brief April 8 letter to the NCCC’s Brendan Branon and the unions’ Washington, D.C. attorney, Richard S. Edelman of Mooney, Green, Saindon, Murphy and Welch PC, NMB Director of Mediation Services Patricia Sims said:
“The International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers Mechanical Division (SMART-MD) and Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division/IBT (BMWED) (Organizations) requests for a proffer, dated February 23, 2022, the National Carriers Conference Committee (NCCC) (Carrier) response, dated March 11, 2022, and the Organizations’ comments dated March 16, 2022, have been received by the National Mediation Board (Board). The Board will continue to consider the proffer requests. Accordingly, this case remains in mediation, by direction of the NMB.”
“The BMWED/SMART-MD coalition entered into NMB guided mediation in June 2021. The meaning of this NMB letter is that, although the request to be relieved from mediation is denied, the NMB will consider future requests,” explains Railway Age Capitol Hill Contributing Editor Frank N. Wilner. “The other coalition of 10 unions, the CBC (Coordinated Bargaining Coalition), entered into NMB guided mediation in January. It has not petitioned the NMB for release from mediation. It appears now that the NMB will hold talks with both labor coalitions in mediation at least until the seating of a new Congress in January 2023.”
A federal district court on March 30 rebuffed a BMWED attempt to sever itself from multi-employer contract negotiations (national handling) in this current round of wage, benefits and work rules negotiations.