On July 15, 2022, President Biden signed an Executive Order creating a Presidential Emergency Board (PEB) to help resolve the ongoing labor dispute between the nation’s largest rail carriers and the unions representing rail workers.
According to the Executive Order, Biden wrote, “I have been notified by the National Mediation Board that in its judgment these disputes threaten substantially to interrupt interstate commerce to a degree that would deprive a section of the country of essential transportation service.”
The board became effective at 12:01 AM EST today, July 18, 2022. Attorney Ira Jaffee is appointed to chair the PEB, and attorneys David Twomey and Barbara Deinhardt are the other two members.
By establishing the board, strikes or lockouts are delayed for 60 days. The board has up to 30 days to investigate the disputes and report back to the President. The report will contain non-binding recommendations on how to resolve the dispute. After the report is issued, the railroads and unions have 30 days to consider the recommendations and reach a settlement.
If no agreement is reached after the “cooling-off period,” work stoppages are permitted. That means the earliest possible strike or lockout could occur on September 16.