President Obama Announces a Presidential Emergency Board, Names Members

Washington, DC - Today, pursuant to the Railway Labor Act, President Barack Obama signed an Executive Order creating a Presidential Emergency Board to help resolve an ongoing dispute between the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority and some of its employees.

The Presidential Emergency Board will provide a structure for the two sides to resolve their disagreements.  The Presidential Emergency Board will hear evidence and, within 30 days, will deliver a report to the President recommending how the dispute should be resolved. 

President Obama also announced that he intends to appoint the following members to Presidential Emergency Board No. 246:

  • Richard R. Kasher - Chair, Presidential Emergency Board No. 246
  • Ann S. Kenis, Presidential Emergency Board No. 246
  • Bonnie S. Weinstock, Presidential Emergency Board No. 246

President Obama said, “I appreciate that these dedicated individuals have agreed to devote their talent and years of experience working on labor-management disputes to help reach a swift and smooth resolution of this issue.”

Richard R. Kasher, Appointee for Chair, Presidential Emergency Board No. 246

Richard R. Kasher has been a member of the National Academy of Arbitrators since 1983 and a full-time arbitrator since 1978.  He was the National Mediation Board’s first General Counsel from 1971 to 1975.  He is the sole neutral member of the Health and Welfare Fund, established by the Nation’s railroads and unions representing approximately 190,000 employees, and has served on many rosters of arbitrators, including the American Arbitration Association, the National Mediation Board, the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, and the Pennsylvania public employee arbitration/mediation agencies.  Mr. Kasher has been appointed ten times by Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, William Clinton, and George W. Bush to serve as either Chair or a Member of a Presidential Emergency Board.  He received a B.A. from Queens College and an M.L.L in Labor Law from New York University School of Law.

Ann S. Kenis, Appointee for Member, Presidential Emergency Board No. 246

Ann S. Kenis has been a professional arbitrator for the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service and American Arbitration Association since 1992 and a hearing officer for the Illinois State Board of Education since 1994.  She has arbitrated hundreds of disputes in a wide array of industries, including the railroads, manufacturing, automotive, education, transportation, postal service, public sector, service industries, trucking and transportation.  From 1984 to 1991, she was an associate attorney for Arbitrator Elliott H. Goldstein.  She began her career as an attorney representing clients in matters of employment and education at Kerr & Longwell from 1981 to 1984.  Ms. Kenis has been on the arbitration roster of the National Mediation Board for 20 years.  She is on permanent panels for the State of Illinois Department of Central Management Services and its various unions, the Chicago Transit Authority and ATU Locals 241 and 308, and Caterpillar and the United Auto Workers.  Ms. Kenis is a member of the National Academy of Arbitrators and has served as Secretary/Treasurer of the National Association of Railroad Referees.  She received a B.S. from University of Illinois, an M.A. from Northwestern University, and a J.D. from Loyola University.

Bonnie S. Weinstock Appointee for Member, Presidential Emergency Board No. 246

Bonnie S. Weinstock has been a labor and employment arbitrator and mediator since 1981.  She is a member of the National Academy of Arbitrators.  She is also on the arbitration panels of the American Arbitration Association, the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, the National Mediation Board, and numerous state and local panels.  She has a nationwide practice and has served as an arbitrator in a variety of industries, including airlines, hotels and restaurants, health care, education, service, publishing, government, entertainment, and manufacturing.  Ms. Weinstock has served as a member of the Advisory Council for Cornell University’s Industrial and Labor Relations School and the President's Council of Cornell Women.  She was a founding member of the Advisory Board of the Scheinman Institute on Conflict Resolution at Cornell University and helped to develop curriculum for arbitration training.  Ms. Weinstock is a former Member of the Port Authority Employment Relations Panel.  She received a B.S. from Cornell University and a J.D. and LL.M. from New York University School of Law.

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