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).
National Mediation Board
An essential task of the National Mediation Board (NMB), which administers the Railway Labor Act (RLA), is to resolve grievances of union-represented railroad employees relating to contract interpretation and workplace discipline.
Nearly 11 months into the Administration of Donald J. Trump, leadership appointments at the three federal regulatory agencies of significant importance to railroads—the National Mediation Board, Federal Railroad Administration and Surface Transportation Board—have yet to be finalized.
Watching Washington, November 2017: Almost three years since 12 rail labor unions commenced collective bargaining over wages, benefits and work rules with Class I railroads, plus many regionals and short lines, a coalition of six unions—representing some 60% of the 145,000 affected workers—has reached a tentative agreement with the carriers.
RAILWAY AGE, WATCHING WASHINGTON, OCTOBER 2017: As the three-member National Mediation Board (NMB) shifts to Republican control for the first time since 2009, a knotty issue lying dormant since 2006 may emerge: Who pays for binding arbitration to resolve grievances over interpretation of collectively bargained labor contracts and employee discipline?
A tentative national agreement on wages, benefits and work rules has been reached between major railroads and seven of their 13 labor unions. Almost two-dozen unionized regionals and short lines also are participating in the talks.
Senate confirmation of two new Republican members to the three-member National Mediation Board (NMB), and confirmation of a Democrat to a third NMB term, is anticipated in the next few weeks. The NMB will then be under Republican control for the first time since 2009.
Gerald W. (Trey) Fauth III will be nominated by President Trump to the second of two open Republican slots on the three-member National Mediation Board, according to a June 22 White House press release.
Kyle Kirsten Hicks Fortson will be nominated by President Trump for one of two Republican seats on the National Mediation Board (NMB), according to a White House press release June 20. If formally nominated and confirmed by the Senate, she will inherit the remainder of a three-year term expiring July 1, 2019.
Two months into the Trump Administration, the Washington Post says his nomination process, leading to Senate confirmation, is moving more slowly than any in history. The New York Times describes “dust piling up in key offices … critical power centers in [Trump’s] government devoid of leadership.”