Unions Press Biden on Mediation Board Appointments

Labor unions in the railroad and aviation industries are seeking to prod President Joseph Biden on appointments to the National Mediation Board.

The 19 unions are seeking to have Deirdre Hamilton appointed to the Board and for sitting member Linda Puchala’s term to be extended.

The Board was created by the Railway Labor Act and the letter from the unions noted it “plays an essential role” in labor-management relations. 

“These workers are best served when the NMB is reliably staffed with public servants who understand the importance of collective bargaining and who, when disputes arise, will seek fair and timely solutions,” the letter said.

Hamilton for the past six years has been the staff attorney to the airline division of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

She has represented workers before federal courts and with the NMB on a wide range of legal issues for the past 20 years.

Puchala has served as an NMB board member since 2009. Before that she was a mediator, senior mediator and the associate director of alternative dispute resolution services over a 10-year career at the NMB.

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