|NATIONAL MEDIATION BOARD|
|Washington, D.C. 20572
February 17, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NATIONAL MEDIATION BOARD
Contact: NMB Public Information Line — (202) 692-5050
Re: National Mediation Board Sets Record; Presents Partnership Awards
Washington, D.C. — At meetings with Labor and Management officials in early February, the National Mediation Board (NMB) acknowledged the special and collaborative efforts of the parties, in partnership with the NMB, to improve the handling of railroad-employee grievance cases pursuant to Section-3 of the Railway Labor Act and to introduce alternative dispute resolution (ADR) approaches into labor relations of the nationís railroads.
NMB Partnership Awards
During the meetings, NMB Chairman Harry Hoglander recognized the special contributions of the following and presented them with the first of the Boardís Annual Partnership Awards:
Mr. F. Leo McCann, President of the American Train Dispatchers Association (ATDA), was recognized for his pioneering and untiring support of the NMB Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) programs, which were instituted by the Board to provide a variety of innovative approaches for resolving collective-bargaining and grievance disputes under the Railway Labor Act.
The Union Pacific Railroad Company was recognized for its generous support of the NMB New-Arbitrator Training program, which was instituted to attract new Section-3 arbitrators to the railroad grievance-handling process. Mr. Terry Olin accepted the Award on behalf of the Union Pacific Railroad and Vice President Rick Turner.
Mr. Steve Powers, Assistant to the President of the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees (Rail Division), was recognized for his affirmative support of the NMB initiative to eliminate a significant backlog of aged Section-3 grievances.
The United Transportation Union (UTU) was recognized for its extensive participation and support for the NMB New-Arbitrator Training program, which greatly expanded the diversity and expertise of the Section-3 arbitrator corps. Mr. Rick Draskovitch accepted the Award on behalf of the UTU, and was personally cited by Chairman Hoglander for his unswerving dedication and resolute determination in improving railroad grievance-handling practices. Hoglander also thanked President Mike Futhey for his continuing support of the program.
NMB Sets Caseload Record
Over the past five years, NMBís Director of the Office of Arbitration Services, Roland Watkins, has focused on enhancing Section-3 productivity. Numerous improvements in the grievance-handling processes have been instituted by the NMB in coordination with the parties. As a result, the original backlog figure of 5,551 as of September 30, 2007, has been reduced to just 304 cases; and, at the end of FY-2010, all cases pending, including new cases received during the year, totaled just 2,770, which is the lowest in NMB history.
About the NMB and Section 3
The National Mediation Board is an independent Federal agency established by the Railway Labor Act (RLA), which governs labor-management relations within two key transportation sectors of the United States and U.S. territories: the railroads and airlines. Section 3 of the RLA provides for the handling and disposition of grievance cases under the auspices of Public Law Boards, Special Boards of Adjustment, and the National Railroad Adjustment Board.
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