Presidential Emergency Board (PEB)

Presidential Emergency Board (PEB)

The RLA gives the NMB one additional means for trying to resolve a negotiations dispute and avert a strike or a lockout. The NMB may notify the President of the United States that, in its judgment, an agreement cannot be reached and this may threaten to substantially interrupt interstate commerce and transportation.

The President may create a Presidential Emergency Board (PEB) to investigate and report on a dispute over the terms of a Collective Bargaining Agreement. Under the Railway Labor Act, the President may exercise his discretion to create an emergency board when the labor dispute threatens “substantially to interrupt interstate commerce to a degree such as to deprive any section of the country of essential transportation service.”

Creation of a PEB delays a strike, lockout or other form of self-help, generally for 60 days. The PEB has 30 days to issue its report. Generally, PEBs provide recommendations for settlement of the dispute. After the PEB reports to the President, the parties to the dispute have another 30-day cooling off period to consider the recommendations of the PEB and to reach an agreement.

If either party rejects the PEB recommendations, the parties may engage in Self-Help at the end of this last 30-day Cooling-Off Period, including strikes, lockouts and unilateral changes in terms and conditions of employment. Finally, Congress may also intervene and mandate an Agreement legislatively, ordering the parties to adopt the findings of the PEB.

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