Senate Rejects Attempt to Block NMB Election Rule

The U.S. Senate today blocked an attempt by Georgia Republican Senator Johnny Isakson to overturn the National Mediation Board’s (NMB) recent rule change allowing voters in union representation elections in the air and rail industies to vote for or against union representation.

Prior to the new rule, which took effect July 1, 2010, any eligible voter who did not cast a vote in the election had a “no” vote imposed on them.

“The Machinists Union worked hard this week to block the undemocratic action,” said General Vice President Robert Roach, Jr. “We met with key officials to ensure air and rail workers did not lose their right to fair elections.”

The new NMB rule applies the same voting process found in all other private-sector industries, where a majority of voters participating in the election determine its outcome.

Before the vote, the Obama administration issued the following statement about the Isakson attempt:

“If the President is presented with a Resolution of Disapproval that would not safeguard the ability of railroad and airline workers to decide whether or not they would be represented by a union based upon a majority of the ballots cast in an election, his senior advisers would recommend he veto the resolution.”

Senator Isakson’s attempt to undermine the voting rights of air and rail workers was defeated by a 56-43 vote.