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10/14/2003



Rail News: Labor

Joint program aims to prompt productive employer/union negotiations


The National Mediation Board (NMB) and W. J. Usery Center for the Workplace at Georgia State University recently co-hosted a two-day training/discussion program for Northwest Airlines (NWA) and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, which have been negotiating a contract but applied for mediation through NMB.

NMB conducted a presentation on the Railway Labor Act's (RLA) history and structure, and moderated a panel discussion with NMB mediators, NWA management and union officials. The Usery Center demonstrated an online dispute-resolution application used by NMB as a bargaining tool.

NMB and the Usery Center expect to continue offering the program to transportation companies and labor unions entering the bargaining phase because "joint training and discussions create a more productive environment for negotiations," according to a prepared statement.

The parties also plan to offer other specialized courses for mediators, arbitrators, bargainers and attorneys practicing under the RLA.


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