‘Overwhelming’ Support for NMB Rule Change

More than 23,000 cards, letters and emails in favour of the proposed NMB rule change were delivered to the board before the conclusion of the public comment period.

IAM representatives this week presented the National Mediation Board (NMB) with an additional 12,000 signed post cards expressing support for their proposed rule change to make air and rail union elections more democratic.

“When the NMB solicited public comments on their proposed rule change, the Machinists union asked our members to get involved,” said Transportation GVP Robert Roach, Jr. “To no one’s surprise, the response was overwhelming.”

In total, IAM members and supporters generated more than 23,000 postcards, letters and emails urging the NMB to adopt its proposal to allow air and rail union representation elections to be determined by a majority of participating voters. Currently, anyone eligible to vote in an election who does not vote, for whatever reason, is considered to have voted against union representation.

The Machinists union today also submitted to the NMB its formal comments on the proposal.

“The proposed change will allow the Board to best perform its administrative duties to investigate representation disputes,” stated the IAM in its submission. “It will mean that the Board no longer presumes that all those who do not vote, do not want representation.  Instead, the Board will determine the true intent of each voter, whether the intent is to vote for the union, against the union or to abstain.  The Board will level the playing field so that all employees will have equal footing to declare whether or not they want representation.  The proposed change brings the NMB’s voting process squarely in line with American ideals of democracy.”

The NMB will now consider all comments and issue a final decision in the next few months. The IAM’s complete comments can be read here.