Cornell University

Credit Internship Program

119 Ives Hall, 607-255-2266

National Mediation Board (Washington, DC), and
CSX Corporation (Jacksonville, FL)

Organization Background: National Mediation Board

The National Mediation Board (NMB) is an independent Executive Branch agency established by the 1934 amendments to the Railway Labor Act of 1926 which expanded coverage of the Act to include the airline industry. The NMB performs a key role in achieving the principal purpose of the Act: “to avoid any interruption in commerce or to the operation of any carrier engaged therein” by assisting the carriers and their employees in their duty under the Act to “exert every reasonable effort” to settle disputes. The Board’s principal statutory goals are:

1) To facilitate the resolution of disputes in the negotiation of new or revised collective bargaining agreements;
2) To insure employee rights of self-organization, without interference, when representation disputes exist, and;
3) To provide for the prompt and orderly settlement of disputes growing out of minor disputes or out of the interpretation or application of agreements covering rates of pay, rules, or working conditions.

Organization Background: CSX Corporation

CSX Corporation, together with its subsidiaries based in Jacksonville, FL, is one of the nation's leading transportation suppliers and is one of the four Class I Railroads in the United States. The company’s rail and intermodal businesses provide rail-based transportation services including traditional rail service and the transport of intermodal containers and trailers. CSX currently employs over 30,000 employees who fill a variety of management and union positions. 

Overall, the CSX Transportation network encompasses about 21,000 route miles of track in 23 states, the District of Columbia and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec. Our transportation network serves some of the largest population centers in the nation. More than two-thirds of Americans live within CSX’s service territory.

CSX serves major markets in the eastern United States and has direct access to all Atlantic and Gulf Coast ports, as well as the Mississippi River, the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway. The company also has access to Pacific ports through alliances with western railroads.

CSX moves a broad portfolio of products across the country in a way that minimizes the effect on the environment, takes traffic off an already congested highway system, and minimizes fuel consumption and transportation costs.

Labor Relations has about 60 employees (management and union) and is tasked with maintaining relationships with 13 labor organizations in an effort to facilitate favorable operations between those organizations and CSX as a carrier.  CSX employs 27,000 unionized employees, and the degree of union density is greater than 98% of all employees who are eligible for unionization.  Typical responsibilities include claims management/data analysis, discipline, seniority bulletins, arbitration, agreement interpretation, providing guidance to field managers, and brief writing.

Internship Description:

Interns can expect to share their onsite time between CSX and the NMB (and potentially a union organization), to the extent required to fulfill credits required for the internship semester (e.g., estimated 7 weeks at CSX [compensated] and a union organization, with additional time split with the NMB [uncompensated]).  At CSX, interns can expect to gain arbitration experience, participate in the analysis and preparation of case briefings, job-shadow LR managers on daily job duties which will include conferences with union leadership, analyze claim data and create reports, and develop training content for field managers based on scenarios in real claims.  At the NMB, interns can expect to participate in a variety of activities that involve mediation and conflict resolution between carriers and organizations.

Skills:

Analytical thinking capability, strong verbal and written communication skills, professional demeanor, strong teamwork skills.

Areas of Knowledge:

Labor agreements, history of unions/labor movement in America, discipline handling and arbitration procedures.

Stipend:

Available for time at CSX  $600 per week, plus a travel allowance of up to $2,000.

Application process:

CSX and the NMB would invite Cornell to proceed with the normal intern selections process in-house, and then forwarding on a ‘short list’ of candidates for phone interviews and additional fit assessment for the position by the CSX LR and NMB onsite teams.