Bozeman M5

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Module 5: Assignment 4
Mark Bozeman
Saint Leo University
MGT 441

1.   “Complete an in-depth analysis of the Railway Labor Act (RLA), including its amendments, judicial interpretations, and administrative law. Having studied the RLA over the past few weeks, you will now tie it together with what you have learned about labor relations thus far. Choose a case from the Saint Leo Online Library or any other Internet source on this topic and be sure to include this in your response”(Fossum, 2015).

The Railway Labor Act (RLA) was enacted in 1926 where the constructing of governing laws and collective bargaining possibly started. “The coverage of the RLA was found in the private sector of nonmanagerial rail and airline employees and employers”(Fossum, 2015, p. 63). Employees were able to choose their representatives for collective bargaining however there could be no yellow dog contracts. Settlement procedures included mediation, arbitration, and emergency boards could be found within the RLA. “The Railway Labor Act applies to rail and air carriers and their nonmanagerial employees. The act has five general purposes: 1. Avoiding service interruptions. 2. Eliminating any restrictions on joining a union. 3. Guaranteeing the freedom of employees I any matter of self organization. 4. Providing for prompt dispute settlement. 5. Enabling prompt grievance settlement”(Fossum, 2015, p. 64). A contract under the RLA stays in effect even after its amended date until a new contract can be agreed upon. However this also has guidelines that must be followed, a 30 day window must be given in writing about any changes that may or may not be taking place. A questionable debate can be found in the jurisdiction of the RLA and how the RLA views who or whom they cover. “FedEx was brought with the RLA jurisdiction, but the United Parcel Service (UPS) remained outside since FedEx is considered primarily an air express company while UPS is viewed as a ground carrier”(Fossum, 2015, p. 64). The RLA also will not allow any provisions by limiting the structure of nonunion methods/topics/issues that can be discussed or even resolved. The RLA will not get in the way of an employee’s freedom of representation when it comes to the bargaining of the employee. “On February 17th 2014, a case was made in the California courts with Grimes v BNSF Railway Company. The RLA appealed Grimes termination even though Grimes was dishonest and broke a code or rule within the BNSF. The RLA fought the guidelines and timing of Grimes departure but did not fight the wrong doings of Grimes judgment on the job. The RLA has strict guidelines of rules that must be followed even at the rule breaking or departure of a possible terminated employee (fedbar.org).

2.   Explain arbitration and mediation and how they apply to labor relations.

“Third-party involvement includes mediation, fact-finding, and arbitration”(Fossum, 2015, p.409). Mediation is a party that assists the involved party however remains neutral. Mediation will find a common ground where the parties involved can communicate together in order to find a solution to whatever problem or task is at hand. However easy this may sound the task of bringing a disruptive party together can seem next to impossible. The goal for the mediator is to bring not only communication to the table but also an agreement. “Arbitration is a quasi-judicial process in which parties agree to submit unresolved disputes to a neutral third party for binding settlement”(Fossum, 2015, p. 509). The topics of arbitration are the interest and rights of each party. Understanding the contract or the terms of the contract seems to always be a subject when arbitration is involved. One party views a matter one way while another understands it another. Both mediation and arbitration have the same goal at hand, to bring a settlement to the disruptive...