Under the Railway Labor Act, the NMB is responsible for effectuating employee rights of self-organization where a representation dispute exists.
One of the purposes of the Railway Labor Act (RLA) is to effectuate employee rights to self- organization. The RLA provides that employees shall have the right to organize and bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing. It is the National Mediation Board’s (NMB or Board) duty to resolve any disputes among employees as to who are their collective bargaining representatives. The NMB investigates these disputes, ensuring peaceful resolutions without disruption to interstate commerce.
The NMB investigates representation disputes in the railroad, commuter railroad, and airline industries only. Collective bargaining representation of employees in other private industries is administered by the National Labor Relations Board pursuant to the National Labor Relations Act. (www.nlrb.gov.) Collective bargaining representation of employees in the Federal sector (United States government employees) is administered by the Federal Labor Relations Authority pursuant to the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, Title VII. (www.flra.gov.) Collective bargaining representation of other public sector employees (state, county and municipal government employees) varies and depends on whether there is a state or local law which permits collective bargaining.
The primary responsibilities of the NMB regarding representation are as follows:
- Initializing investigation of representation applications
- Determining and certifying representatives of employees
- Ensuring that the process occurs without interference, influence or coercion.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the role of the NMB in representation matters?
It is the NMB’s duty to investigate and resolve representation disputes in the railway and airline industries.
How do representation disputes come to the NMB?
A labor organization (organization) or an individual employee can request that the NMB investigate an alleged representation dispute by filing Form NMB-1, ”Application for Investigation of Representation Dispute.” The organization or individual is also required to file a “Notice of Appearance” with the application which is available at the same link.