|NATIONAL MEDIATION BOARD|
|Washington, D.C. 20572
January 5, 2000
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NATIONAL MEDIATION BOARD
RE: DUBESTER NAMED NMB CHAIRMAN
Ernest W. DuBester became the new Chairman of the National Mediation Board (NMB) effective January 1, 2000. He joined the Board as a Member on November 15, 1993 and first served as Chairman from December 1993-July 1995 and again from July 1997-July 1998. Mr. DuBester was first nominated to the NMB by President Clinton on September 24, 1993 and was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate for a third term on November 19, 1999.
DuBester replaces Magdalena G. Jacobsen, who served as Chairwoman since July 1, 1998 and remains a Member of the Board. The third Member is Francis J. Duggan.
The NMB is an independent Federal agency that was established in 1934 by the Railway Labor Act (RLA). The RLA governs labor- management relations in the railroad and airline industries, two of the most heavily unionized industries in the country.
Since joining the Board, Mr. DuBester has mediated numerous airline and railroad disputes. In the last year, he was involved in several challenging disputes, including four separate contract renewal disputes involving 16,000 Trans World Airlines employees and the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers and a dispute between America West Airlines and its flight attendants represented by the Association of Flight Attendants, which resulted in an initial agreement.
He and his fellow board members have championed initiatives to enhance customer service through improved agency operations and administration. These included the reorganization of mediation services and the realignment of representation and arbitration services. New and innovative approaches to airline and railroad collective bargaining were introduced, including interest-based bargaining, grievance mediation and other alternative dispute resolution techniques.
During his first term as chairman, Mr. DuBester chaired the 1994 International Labor Organization's Tripartite Conference on the "Consequences for Management and Personnel of the Restructuring of Railways," held in Geneva, Switzerland. Representatives of labor, management and the governments of fifteen countries were represented.
Since 1997, Mr. DuBester has served as an adjunct faculty member of the Catholic University of American Law School where he teaches collective bargaining and arbitration.
Before joining the Board, Mr. DuBester garnered experience in all facets of the Railway Labor Act, including the NMB, Federal Courts, arbitration and national emergency disputes involving Presidential Emergency Boards. After the 1992 Presidential election, he served on the transition team for the Transportation Cluster Group of the Transitional Office of President Clinton and Vice President Gore.
From April 1984 until joining the Board, Mr. DuBester served as Legislative Counsel for the AFL-CIO. In that capacity, his responsibilities included airline and railroad issues, particularly those involving labor relations matters. He was involved in most of the airline and railroad disputes that came before Congress in those years.
From 1981-1984, Mr. DuBester was in private practice with Highsaw and Mahoney, a firm specializing in matters relating to the Railway Labor Act. While in private practice, he was involved in several airline and railroad bankruptcy proceedings.
From 1975 to 1981, Mr. DuBester served as counsel to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), for most of that period as counsel to Chairman John Fanning. The NLRB administers the National Labor Relations Act, which essentially governs labor-management relations in all industries other than the airlines and railroads.
A native of Passaic, N. J., Mr. DuBester is a 1972 honors graduate of Boston College. He received his law degree in 1975 from Catholic University, where he was Recent Developments Editor of the Law Review. In 1980, he received his Masters of Law in Labor Law from Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C. He is a member of the Bar in the District of Columbia, New Jersey and Florida as well as a member of the U. S. Supreme Court Bar.
He is married to Karen Kremer of Birmingham, Alabama and currently resides in Arlington, Virginia
(For further information, contact Jim Armshaw, (202) 692-5050)
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