With the clock ticking toward a national rail shutdown, Frank Wilner has provided a thorough analysis of the elaborate processes and deadlines mandated by Congress in the Railway Labor Act, 45 USC §151
Railway Labor Act
President Joe Biden on Sunday, July 17, named the three members of Presidential Emergency Board (PEB) No. 250 that will make non-binding recommendations in the now more than 2½ year old dispute
The heated rhetoric surrounding the impasse that national rail labor contract negotiations appears to have reached—and the threat of a strike leading to an economy-crippling rail network shutdown—shows little signs of cooling down.
It is more than two years since the rail industry’s 12 labor unions and management (representing most Class I railroads and some smaller ones) commenced bargaining to amend contracts defining wages, benefits and work rules.
As the Surface Transportation Board (STB), Federal Maritime Commission and Department of Transportation struggle to ease a problematic supply chain crisis, pressure is mounting on the National Mediation Board (NMB) to prevent a nationwide railroad work stoppage by guiding rail labor and management to a voluntarily negotiated agreement to amend union-member wages, benefits and work rules.
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).
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.
In a historic first, and in a rail industry whose labor and management leadership ranks long have been dominated by Caucasian males, the first all-female Presidential Emergency Board (PEB) in the 78-year history of PEBs has been created to investigate and make recommendations in a collective bargaining dispute involving New Jersey Transit (NJT) and 16 of its rail labor unions.
The nation’s freight railroads have reached settlements with 10 of the 13 major rail unions covering more than 60% of 132,000 employees in the current round of bargaining, but a potential strike