blebul3a.gif (310 bytes) Railway Labor Act - Statutory Outline blebul2a.gif (318 bytes)

I. Principal Legislative History

A. 1926 Act - The RLA’s comprehensive dispute resolution scheme is a special working accommodation between labor and management.

- Texas & New Orleans R.R. Co. v. Bhd. of Railway and Steamship Clerks, 281 U.S. 548 (1930).

 B. 1934 Amendments - Collective bargaining rights under the RLA strengthened; National Mediation Board established.

- Virginian Ry. Co. v. System Federal No. 40, 300 U.S. 515 (1937). 

C. 1936 Amendments - The airline industry is brought under the RLA in a new Title II. 

- Air Line Stewards and Stewardess Ass'n, Int'l v. Northwest Airlines, Inc., 267 F.2d 170 (8th Cir.), cert. denied, 361 U.S. 901 (1959). 

D. 1951 Amendments - union security expressly permitted. 

- Railway Employees' Department v. Hanson, 351 U.S. 225 (1956).

E. 1966 Amendments - Railroad minor dispute resolution processes expanded to include Public Law Boards established by the parties.

- Railway & Steamship Clerks v. St. Louis S. Ry., 676 F.2d 132 (5th Cir. 1982).

 

II. Selection of Employee Representatives

A. Voluntary recognition agreements as a basis for establishing the employees’ collective bargaining representative. 

- Virginia Ry. Co. v. System Federation No. 40, 300 U.S. 515 (1937).

B. Statutory certification process as administered by the NMB. 

- Switchmen's Union v. National Mediation Board, 320 U.S. 297 (1943).

C. Discretion of the National Mediation Board regarding the investigation and resolution of employee representation issues. 

- Bhd. of Railway and Steamship Clerks v. Non-Contract Employees, 380 U.S. 650 (1965). 

- Horizon Air Industries, Inc. v. National Mediation Board, 232 F. 3d 1126 (9th Cir. 2000), cert. denied, 121 S. Ct. 2519 (2001).

- America West Airlines v. National Mediation Board, 119 F.3d 772 (9th Cir. 1997), cert. denied, 523 U.S. 1021 (1998). 

- Railway Labor Executives' Ass'n v. National Mediation Board, 29 F.3d 655, (D.C. Cir.), amended, 38 F.3d 1224 (D.C. Cir. 1994), cert. denied, 514 U.S. 1032 (1995). 

D. NMB administrative procedures associated with representation investigation functions. 

- 29 C.F.R. §§1202, 1203, 1206; NMB Representation Manual; Form NMB 3, Application for Investigation of Representation Dispute. 

E. Key statutory provision. 

- 45 U.S.C. §152, Ninth. 

 

III. Negotiation Process

A. Notice process and maintenance of status quo pending negotiations. 

- Bhd. of Railroad Trainmen v. Jacksonville Terminal Co., 394 U.S. 369 (1969). 

B. Good faith bargaining is an enforceable statutory obligation. 

- Chicago & North Western Ry. Co. v. United Transportation Union, 402 U.S. 570 (1971). 

C. Maintenance of status quo by the parties to the dispute is central to Act’s dispute resolution scheme. 

- Detroit and Toledo Shore Line Ry. Co. v. United Transportation Union, 396 U.S. 142 (1969). 

 

IV. Mediation Process

A. Statutory discretion of the National Mediation Board regarding the continuation of statutory mediation. 

- Int'l Ass'n of Machinists & Aerospace Workers v. National Mediation Board, 930 F.2d 45 (D.C. Cir.), cert. denied, 502 U.S. 858 (1991). 

- Local 808 v. National Mediation Board, 888 F.2d 1428 (D.C. Cir. 1989). 

B. NMB administrative procedures associated with mediation functions. 

- 29 C.F.R. §§1201.1, 1203.1; Form NMB 2, Application for Mediation Services. 

C. Key statutory provisions associated with NMB mediation functions.

- 45 U.S.C. §§155, 183. 

 

V. Emergency Board Proceedings

A. Statutory impact of emergency board creation. 

- Railway Labor Executives' Ass'n v. Boston & Maine Corp., 808 F.2d 150 (1st Cir. 1986), cert. denied, 484 U. S. 830 (1987). 

- Bhd. of Locomotive Engineers v. Baltimore & Ohio R.R. Co., 372 U.S. 284 (1963). 

B. NMB statutory role associated with Presidential discretion to establish emergency boards. 

- 45 U.S.C. §§159a, 160. 

 

VI. Arbitration Processes

A. Interest arbitration. 

- Air Line Pilots Ass'n v. Aviation Associates, Inc., 955 F. 2d 90 (1st Cir.), cert. denied, 505 U.S. 1222 (1992).

B. Grievance arbitration. 

- Int'l Ass'n of Machinists & Aerospace Workers v. Central Airlines, Inc., 372 U.S. 682 (1963). 

C. Arbitral Immunity. 

- Ozark Air Lines, Inc. v. National Mediation Board, 797 F.2d 557 (8th Cir. 1986). 

- Radin v. United States of America and National Mediation Board, 699 F.2d 681 (4th Cir. 1983).

 

VII. Selected Additional Statutes Affecting the Functions of the National Mediation Board 

A. Freedom of Information Act. 

- Int'l Bhd. of Teamsters v. National Mediation Board and Trans World Airlines, Inc., 712 F.2d 1495 (D.C. Cir. 1983). 

- American Airlines, Inc. v. National Mediation Board, 588 F.2d 863 (2d Cir. 1978).

B. Federal Bankruptcy Code. 

- In re Continental Airlines Corp., 119 LRRM 2752 (S.D. Tex. 1985), aff'd, 790 F.2d 35 (5th Cir. 1986). 

C. Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act. 

- Air Florida Inc. v. National Mediation Board, 534 F. Supp. 1 (S.D. Fla. 1982), appeal dismissed, 720 F.2d 686 (11th Cir. 1982). 

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