National Mediation Board
independent government agency charged with mediating labor-management disputes in the railroad and airline industries. The board's major responsibilities include the mediation of disputes over wages, hours, and working conditions that arise between rail or air carriers and organizations representing their employees, and the investigation of disputes over representation that arise between classes of carrier employees and labor organizations. Disputing parties who fail to reach an accord in direct bargaining may request the board's services or the board may, in the interest of preventing disruptions to commerce, invoke its own services. If mediation fails the board may also seek to induce the parties to submit the dispute to arbitration.