|NATIONAL MEDIATION BOARD|
|Washington, D.C. 20572
October 14, 2003
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NATIONAL MEDIATION BOARD
Contact: NMB Public Information Line -- (202) 692-5050
Re: NMB and Usery Center Begin Collaborative Efforts with NWA-IAM Training
Atlanta, GA: On October 7 - 8, 2003, The National Mediation Board (NMB) and the W. J. Usery Center for the Workplace at Georgia State University were co-hosts for two days of training and discussions with Northwest Airlines (NWA) and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW). NWA and the IAMAW have been engaged in direct negotiations, but have applied for mediation with the NMB and participated in the training in preparation for work with NMB mediators.
Bargaining committees for five crafts or classes represented by the IAMAW were present for the training: Stocks and Stores Employees; Office Clerical, Fleet and Passenger Services; Flight Simulator Technicians; Security Officers and Security Guards; and Flight Kitchen and Commissary Employees. The union bargaining committees at the training were headed by Mr. Robert DePace, President and General Chairman of IAMAW District Lodge 143. The airline bargaining committees were led by Mr. Robert Brodin, Senior Vice President for Labor Relations, and Ms Julie Showers, Vice President for Labor Relations. In late October the groups will begin mediation with NMB Mediators Zachery Jones, Denise Hedges, and Brad Laslett.
Over a two day period, the bargaining committees heard presentations on the history and structure of the Railway Labor Act (RLA), and they had the opportunity to engage in discussions with a panel of NMB mediators and with a panel of management and union leaders. A featured part of the training was an interactive session hosted by the Usery Center, using online dispute resolution technology (ODR) featured as a bargaining tool by the NMB. One of the union bargainers called the training, "the most valuable two days of bargaining preparation I've spent in my entire career."
The NMB and the Usery Center will continue to offer training of this type to groups as they enter bargaining with the conviction that joint training and discussions create a more productive environment for negotiations. As part of their ongoing relationship, the Usery Center and the NMB will also offer other specialized courses for mediators, arbitrators, bargainers, and attorneys practicing under the RLA. The Usery Center and the NMB will offer their first jointly sponsored continuing legal education (CLE) course on November 12, 2003, in Atlanta.
The NMB's ongoing relationship with the Usery Center, the use of ODR tools, the initiation of video teleconferencing for arbitration, telephone electronic voting for representation elections, and the development of targeted courses for the airline and railroad industries, are all part of the Board's strategy for continuing transformation of service delivery to management and union parties.
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