The IAM requested that the NMB issue a proffer of arbitration in its flight attendant negotiations with ExpressJet. This request occurs more than five years after negotiations began for a first contract for the 2,100+ flight attendants at the combined ExpressJet and ASA. Under the Railway Labor Act, the NMB decides whether to issue such a proffer and it does so only when it determines that further mediation would be unsuccessful. If the NMB issues a proffer and both sides agree to arbitration, a neutral arbitrator establishes the terms of the contract and there is no employee ratification vote. If the NMB issues a proffer and either the union or the employer declines the offer of arbitration, then a 30-day cooling off period starts, during which negotiations continue. If no settlement is reached at that point, the parties can engage in “self-help” unless the President of the United States establishes a Presidential Emergency Board. For more information on the process and next steps click here.