Collective Bargaining Under the Railway Labor Act
Collective bargaining under the Railway Labor Act is an ongoing process involving labor and management. The RLA establishes clear statutory guidelines for airlines and their unions to bargain together to establish a new contract. The Act compels labor and management to meet and confer about wages, hours, and terms and conditions of employment. There also is a duty to bargain in good faith.
There are two principal objectives in this chapter. The first objective is to provide a comprehensive overview of the RLA negotiating process. This includes the requirements of the RLA, procedural steps in air labor major and minor disputes, the role of the National Mediation Board, and mandatory bargaining subjects. The second objective is to consider the duty to bargain in good faith.
The duty to bargain is required by the Railway Labor Act, which views collective bargaining as essential to its statutory scheme. The RLA requires that carriers and employee representatives meet and confer about wages, hours, and terms and conditions of employment. Both sides have a duty to bargain and to reach agreement. However, the law does not compel either side to reach a compromise or make a