The National Mediation Board (NMB) has agreed to give the nation’s 12 railroad labor unions, representing some 125,000 unionized rail workers, an opportunity May 24-26 to demonstrate their commitment to a voluntarily negotiated settlement with most of the nation’s railroads over changes in wages, benefits and work rules.
National Mediation Board
The National Carriers’ Conference Committee (NCCC) on April 22 proposed “to enter interim agreements with all rail labor organizations in national handling providing for advance payments of up to $600 per month, representing amounts that are expected to be due under future national collective bargaining agreements.” While most unions had declined as of April 25, NCCC said it would “hold open the proposal” for their further consideration.
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).
The Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division of the Teamsters Rail Conference (BMWED) was rebuffed by a federal district court March 30 in an attempt to sever itself from multi-employer contract negotiations (national handling) in this current round of wage, benefits and work rules negotiations.
The nation’s railroads today asked the National Mediation Board (NMB) to keep at the bargaining table the dozen unions with which they are negotiating wage, benefits and work rules amendments to national labor contracts.
WATCHING WASHINGTON, RAILWAY AGE MARCH 2022 ISSUE: “The farmer and the cowman should be friends,” wrote Rodgers and Hammerstein for the 1943 musical, Oklahoma! In 1967, Aretha Franklin recorded R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Five gets you 10 that neither friendship nor respect exist at the bargaining table where rail management and labor have been negotiating contract amendments since January 2020.
The BMWED/SMART-Mechanical Division bargaining coalition late last month petitioned the National Mediation Board (NMB) for a proffer of arbitration, requesting to be released from further mediation sessions with the National Carriers Conference Committee (NCCC); the Coordinated Bargaining Coalition unions support the move.
The Senate on Dec. 7 confirmed Democrat Deirdre Hamilton as a member of the National Mediation Board, succeeding Republican Kyle Fortson, whose first term expired, and shifting the three-member agency to a Democratic majority.
The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions last week favorably reported the nominations by President Joe Biden of Democrats Linda Puchala and Deirdre Hamilton, and Republican Gerald W. (Trey) Fauth III, to the three-member National Mediation Board, which administers the Railway Labor Act (RLA). Puchala and Fauth are renominees.
In a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) issued Jan. 31, the Republican majority on the National Mediation Board seeks to create a “straightforward election process” to decertify union representation on airlines and railroads whose labor relations are governed by the Railway Labor Act (RLA).