Understanding the Railway Labor Act
by Frank N. Wilner
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Publication Info: 286 pages (6/30/09)
Simmons Boardman Books, Inc.; ISBN: 978-0911382-59-4; Dimensions (in inches): 5.75x8.875
Description: For sure, the Railway Labor Act is one of a kind. In fact, it is a common toast to suggest that one live long enough to understand the Railway Labor Act (RLA).
Railroad journalist, economist, former rail regulator, and rail-labor expert Frank N. Wilner offers a straight-forward and very readable history, evolution, description, justification and critique of the RLA in his new book, "Understanding the Railway Labor Act."
Additional Information: "Understanding the Railway Labor Act" is aimed at two audiences. One is those seeking to learn more about rail labor history, the mechanics of rail labor law, and how railroads and their multiple unions bargain collectively under the RLA's provisions.
The second intended audience is those familiar with the RLA, but seeking a reference work providing greater detail of the law's provisions and how they impact negotiations at the national and local levels.
Included are separate chapters that discuss labor protection in the railroad industry, secondary boycotts, and the crew-consist dispute - how many crew members are required to operate freight and passenger trains, which, for decades, has flared, simmered and flared again.
Also explained and analyzed are interest-based bargaining, alternatives to the RLA, and congressional intervention in railroad labor disputes.
Wilner, the author of four other educational books on railroad economics and regulation, includes hundreds of endnotes, which cite congressional action, court decisions and news accounts.
Railway Age magazine once described Wilner as the only individual who has viewed the railroad industry as a carrier official, a labor official, a regulator and a journalist.
Included in the book are essays in defense of the Railway Labor Act, written by veteran practitioners: Former CSX chief labor negotiator Ken Peifer; United Transportation Union General Counsel Clint Miller; arbitrator Frank Quinn; and National Mediation Board member Harry Hoglander. Also, Larry Kaufman, a former senior executive at the Association of American Railroads, Burlington Northern, and Southern Pacific, provides an introduction.
What opinon leaders and decision makers are are saying about Understanding the Railway Labor Act:
"Frank Wilner shoots straight and he knows the industry inside and out."
Three-time Pulitzer Prize winner & Assistant editor, Investigations Desk
The New York Times
"A must-read for students of U.S. rail labor relations. Frank Wilner's latest book offers an insightful look at the uniquely American solution to railroad labor relations challenges and the law's success in avoiding work stoppages."
Executive Director, Morgan Stanley
"No transportation journalist is as knowledgeable about railroad labor-management relations, past or present, as Frank Wilner. This book puts this complex relationship, and how it's affected by federal statute, in a very clear perspective."
William C. Vantuono
Editor, Railway Age magazine
"Frank Wilner writes a thoughtful and comprehensive assessment of the Railway Labor Act. This book should be read by all who want to understand the act's realities expressed in a courageous, trenchant and original style."
Ronald L. Batory
President & chief operating officer
Consolidated Rail Corp.
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