The National Mediation Board (NMB) has made revisions to its Representation Manual (Manual) to reflect the voting process and election procedure changes made by the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (FAA Act) and related implementing regulations, as well as to include a new requirement related to the List of Potential Eligible Voters that employers must provide the NMB. The changes to the Manual take effect as of March 25, 2013.

Implementation of NMB Election Regulations

The NMB’s final rule issued in December 2012 implemented the changes to NMB procedures regarding run-off elections, “showing of interest” thresholds for representation elections, and the agency’s rulemaking authority. Specifically, the FAA Act amended the Railway Labor Act (RLA) by, among other things: (a) requiring that in any runoff election for which there are three or more options (including the option of “no union”) on the ballot and none receives a majority of the valid votes cast, a second election would be held between the two options receiving the most votes; (b) raising the showing of interest threshold for elections to not less than 50% (up from 35%) of the employees in the craft or class; and (c) imposing certain review and auditing requirements on the NMB’s programs and expenditures.

To this end, sections 3.601 (Percentage of Authorizations Required) and 19.601 (Showing of Interest on the Single Transportation System) of the Manual incorporate the new showing of interest requirements; section 16.0 (Run-off Elections) discusses when to hold runoff elections; and section 9.212 (Preponderance) clarifies that “employees who perform work in more than one craft or class may be eligible to vote if the preponderance of their work time is spent performing job functions encompassed by the craft or class during a time period specified by the Investigator” and that “the Investigator will perform a preponderance check and will inform the participants electronically of the specific documentation required for consideration of whether these employees are eligible to vote.”

Voting System Change

With respect to changes made to the NMB voting system, the Representation Manual provides that as of March 25, 2013, voters will be able to use a confidential Access Code instead of a Voter Identification Number (VIN) and a Personal Identification Number (PIN) to cast votes. The new Access Code will be a randomly generated twelve digit confidential number known only to the voter and to the NMB agents. The Manual includes sample telephone and internet voting notices and instructions.

In addition, the Manual’s section 2.4 (List of Potential Eligible Voters and Signature Samples) is amended to require a carrier to attest to the accuracy of the List of Potential Eligible Voters: “The carrier must . . . submit an attestation by a carrier officer (e.g., vice president of labor relations or equivalent) of the accuracy of the list to the best of his or her knowledge.”