Establishing the Bargaining Unit
The major objective of the Railway Labor Act is the "avoidance of industrial strife, by conference between the authorized representatives of employer and employee." 1 It is the duty of the National Mediation Board to investigate a representation dispute and to "certify to both parties, in writing, within 30 days after the receipts of the invocation of its services, the name or names of the individuals or organizations that have been designated and authorized to represent the employees involved in the dispute, and certify the same to the carrier." 2
The goal of this chapter is to depict the RLA representation process. In the first section, an "employee" under the RLA is defined. Aspects of representation of employees are presented in Section 2 of this chapter. This includes representation by craft, the principle of exclusivity, and successorship and mergers. In the third section of this chapter, various mechanics of the representation process are presented. This includes the right to organize, management's response to organization, and National Mediation Board (NMB) representative elections. Finally, the union's duty to provide fair representation is reviewed.
AIR LINE PILOT'S ASSOCIATION v. UNITED AIR LINES, INC. 802 F.2d 886 (7th Cir. 1986)