Practical Law Glossary Item 7-516-8509 (Approx. 3 pages)
Railway Labor Act (RLA)
A federal law enacted by Congress to regulate labor relations for private sector rail and air carriers and certain enterprises owned or under the control of those carriers (45 U.S.C. §§ 151-164 and 45 U.S.C. §§ 181-188).
The central purpose of the RLA is to maintain the flow of rail and air commerce without work stoppages. To serve this purpose, Congress incorporated mechanisms into the RLA to:
Allow employees to freely associate and join unions as they choose.
Ensure the prompt resolution of disputes concerning:
rates of pay, work rules and working conditions;
workplace grievances; or
the interpretation of labor-management agreements about rates of pay, work rules or working conditions.