Monday, December 7, 2009
Jeffrey Hirsch reported back in early November on the National Mediation Board's (NMB) notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) about changing the way union votes are counted in union representation elections under the Railway Labor Act (RLA). I attended the NMB's open meeting today, held at the National Labor Relations Board (the NMB doesn't have enough space to accommodate large crowds). Chairman Elizabeth Dougherty, Members Harry Hoglander and Linda Puchala, General Counsel Mary Johnson, and Associate General Counsel Kate Dowling were present. The NMB officials didn't engage in conversation with the speakers, answer any questions, or make any comments.
There were no real surprises from the speakers. Labor advocates want the NMB to change the way it counts votes in union organizing campaigns and, in support of the change, referred to, among other things, the civil rights movement, Democracy, alleged "suppression" efforts by carriers, and changes in the industry, American culture, and technology. Management advocates called for the NMB to rescind the NPRM and commented that the proposed new rule appears to be a politically motivated effort to make it easier for unions to win representation elections. Management advocates also urged the Board to implement a decertification process if it moves ahead with the new voting rule.
Now might be a good time to dust off Sections 2, Fourth and 2, Ninth of the RLA, along with a copy of the Administrative Procedure Act.
A list of the speakers follows.
- Robert Siegel, Air Transport Association of America
- Edward Wytkind, Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO
- Joanna Moorhead, National Railway Labor Conference
- John Prater, Air Line Pilots Association International
- Robert DeLucia, Airline Industrial Relations Conference
- Robert Roach, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers
- Jack Gallagher, Delta Air Lines
- Carmen Parcelli, Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO
- Randel Johnson, US Chamber of Commerce
- Marianne Bicksler, Association of Flight Attendants - CWA
- Sandy Gordon, Delta Air Lines
- Joel Parker, Transportation Communication International Union/IAM
- Candace Bruton, Self
- John Conley, Transport Workers Union
- Edward Bahmer, Self
- David Bourne, International Brotherhood of Teamsters
- Claude Sullivan, Ford & Harrison LLP
- Janette Rook, Association of Flight Attendants
- Douglas Hall, Regional Airline Association
- Kate Brofenbrenner, Cornell University
- Keith Borman, American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association
- John Murphy, International Brotherhood of Teamsters
- Roger Briton, Airline Services Council of Nat’l Air Transportation Assc.
- David Boehm, Self
- Donald Maliniak, Littler Mendelson, P.C.
- Richard Shaughnessy, Communication Workers of America, Local 6001
- David Livingston, Self
- Samuel Berry, Self
- Beth Graham, Self
- Ressel Rego, International Brotherhood of Teamsters
- Raymond LeJeunesse, National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, Inc.
- Reginald Robinson, International Brotherhood of Teamsters
- James Dolezal, International Brotherhood of Teamsters