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Rail News: Labor

Rail labor groups ask court to stop NMB rule change


The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET), along with 14 other unions and groups representing rail and airline workers, has filed a joint lawsuit challenging a recent rule change made by the National Mediation Board (NMB).

In January, the NMB proposed a rule change that would make it easier to decertify labor unions under the Railway Labor Act. The rule also would increase from one year to two the time a union must wait before it can reapply to represent the workers. The board adopted the final rule this summer.

Filed last week in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the lawsuit asks the court to declare the rule invalid because it exceeds the board's authority under the Railway Labor Act, and for being "arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion or otherwise not in accordance with the law," BLET officials said in a press release.

The unions also asked the court to preliminarily and permanently enjoin the NMB from implementing the final rule, they said.

"The NMB's final rule is contrary to 80-plus years of established practice," said BLET National President Dennis Pierce. "It is unfair, unnecessary, and is harmful to the stability of the airline and railroad industry because it undermines the balance of labor-management relations."

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More News from 10/23/2019