Aaron S.Markel


Detroit + 1.313.230.7929

Aaron Markel represents employers in labor and employment matters with a focus on traditional labor issues arising under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and Railway Labor Act (RLA). He has served as lead negotiator for initial and successor collective bargaining agreements, advised employers in relation to union election and representation proceedings, responded to unfair labor practice charges, assisted in strike preparation, and has regularly represented employers in litigation related to their contractual and statutory rights.

Aaron devotes much of his practice to representing railroads, airlines, and airline service providers in matters under the RLA. He has secured federal court injunctions in response to strike threats, represented clients in jurisdictional and representation disputes before the National Labor Relations Board and National Mediation Board, and frequently defends transportation industry clients against state law wage and hour claims. Aaron also regularly represents clients in labor arbitration, including interest arbitration and in grievance arbitration concerning disputes over contract interpretation, discipline, and discharge. Aaron is a senior editor of The Railway Labor Act treatise published by Bloomberg Law.

In addition, Aaron has successfully defended companies against lawsuits and administrative charges under Title VII, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, and in claims related to enforcing noncompetition agreements.

Prior to joining Jones Day, Aaron served as a law clerk on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington.


  • Coalition of railroads achieve successful results in national collective bargainingJones Day was counsel for the U.S. railroad industry in one of the largest and most consequential labor matters of 2022, helping to avoid threatened work stoppages by 100,000 workers that would have gravely imperilled the U.S. economy and drew the personal attention of President Biden.
  • Global defense contractor wins dismissal of lawsuits by former Saudi-Arabia based employeeJones Day secured dismissal of two lawsuits on behalf of a global defense contractor and one of its management employees that had been brought by a former manager in their Saudi Arabia branch office and that manager's wife.
  • BNSF wins dismissal of union's Railway Labor Act claimsOn behalf of BNSF Railway Company, Jones Day obtained dismissal of claims filed by SMART-TD, the union which represents the Company's conductors, alleging that BNSF violated the Railway Labor Act by posting positions requiring certain train service employees to be qualified to operate a locomotive engine.
  • Freight railroads obtain injunction requiring conductors' union to bargainJones Day has secured a permanent injunction on behalf of the nation's major freight railroads against the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers, Transportation Division ("SMART-TD"), requiring the union to immediately begin bargaining with the railroads over train crew staffing.
  • Global defense contractor secures dismissal of lawsuit brought by former Saudi Arabia-based employeeJones Day successfully represented a global defense contractor and one of its management employees in a lawsuit brought by a former employee who had worked in their Saudi Arabia branch office.
  • ABM prevails in jurisdictional matter involving RLA and NLRA precedentsJones Day successfully represented ABM Onsite Services - West, Inc. before the D.C. Circuit, the National Labor Relations Board ("NLRB"), and the National Mediation Board ("NMB") in a matter involving which federal labor law applied to its employees at the Portland, Oregon airport.
  • KCSR and Tex-Mex secure preliminary injunction barring union from striking over new interchange proceduresJones Day secured a preliminary injunction on behalf of The Kansas City Southern Railway Company ("KCSR") and The Texas Mexican Railway Company ("Tex-Mex") barring the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen from striking over the carriers’ implementation of new interchange procedures in Laredo, Texas.
  • BNSF, Union Pacific defeat putative class action claims under Washington State's rest-break lawOn behalf of BNSF Railway Company and Union Pacific Railroad Company, Jones Day secured the dismissal of putative class action claims that had been brought against the railroads under Washington State’s rest-break law.
  • Rail carriers prevail in collective bargaining interest arbitrationIn 2018, Jones Day represented the National Carriers' Conference Committee -- a bargaining coalition comprising all of the nation's major freight railroads -- in a major arbitration to set the terms of labor agreements with two labor unions.
  • BNSF and Union Pacific win judgment in California rest period litigationJones Day obtained judgment in favor of BNSF Railway Company and Union Pacific Railroad Company in two putative class actions brought on behalf of employees alleging violations of California rest period laws.
    • June 25-27, 2019
      National Railway Labor Conference - Basic Labor Relations Training Program
    • November 14-15, 2018
      2018 Airline and Railway Labor and Employment Roundtable