National Mediation Board

CoA to National Mediation Board: Tell Us Who You Talked To

Cause of Action sent a Freedom of Information Act Request to the National Mediation Board asking for documents related to various labor unions’ involvement in recent Board rulemaking.  Specifically, CoA is concerned by the National Mediation Board’s recent decision to advance a rule which allows only a small minority of all eligible employees to determine union representation.  For over 75 years, the Board conducted union representation elections according to the principle that a union would be certified as the collective bargaining representative only if a majority of the eligible employees in the relevant craft or class voted in favor of union representation. This “Majority Rule” is stated directly in the text of the Railway Labor Act, which provides that “[t]he majority of any craft or class of employees shall have the right to determine who shall be the representative of the craft or class for the purposes of this chapter.  On May 11, 2010, the NMB issued a final rule, effective June 10, 2010, allowing a union to be certified as a firm’s collective bargaining representative based on a majority of votes cast, therefore abandoning the Majority Rule in favor of a Minority Rule.

CoA is particularly troubled by evidence tending to show that this change in the rule was the result of a predetermined effort to advance a partisan policy agenda.

Read the CoA FOIA Request.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user atache.