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RAIL EMPLOYMENT & NOTICES



Rail News Home Rail Industry Trends

5/11/2010



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

NMB amends rail industry union election rules


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Yesterday, the National Mediation Board announced it amended union election procedures in the rail and airline industries so that a simple majority of workers will determine the outcome of elections. In the past, workers who did not participate in an election were counted as “no” votes.

The amended rules will be “more fair and consistent with democratic norms,” according to the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO, adding that the old rules also enabled companies to prevent unions from forming by encouraging workers to sit out the election.

“With this change, only workers who cast a vote will be counted,” said TTD President Edward Wytkind in a prepared statement.

The new rule will provide greater fairness to unorganized workers, according to a statement released by Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen National President Paul Sorrow. The rule change is a “major step in the right direction and will make it easier for non-union workers to join the House of Labor,” Sorrow added.

However, Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.), who serves as the Republican Leader for the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said he was disappointed in the NMB’s decision to “unilaterally amend its election procedures to cater to special interest demands.”

“This is a drastic and fundamental change to long-standing rules under the Railway Labor Act — rules which are tied to vital national policies recognizing the importance of air and rail transportation to commerce and the need for union representation that has the support of a majority of all workers,” Mica said in a prepared statement. “This rule removes 75 years of precedence in which the majority of employees had to vote in favor of unionization.”


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