Labor Arbitration Case Study

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1. Describe how the legal foundation for arbitration as it exists today in the United States was developed. The first mention of labor arbitration in American labor history dates to a clause in the constitution of the journey men Cabinet Makers of Philadelphia in 1829. The earliest arbitration hearing was in 1865 when ironworkers in Pittsburg arbitrated their wages. The first known case for using outside arbitrator was in 1871 in eastern Ohio. The Lincoln Mills Case is considered a landmark decision in arbitration. In this case Supreme Court ordered an employer to arbitrate grievances as provided for in a collective bargaining agreement that stated an employer’s agreement to arbitrate grievance disputes was a tradeoff for unions agreement…show more content…
Discuss the five principles that govern the arbitration of grievances under collective bargaining. The process of arbitration was governed by five principles: • Arbitration is matter of contract. These parties are not required to arbitrate a dispute that they have not agreed to submit to arbitration. The court determines whether there is a duty to arbitrate a dispute. • In determining whether there is a duty to arbitrate a dispute, the courts should not examine the merits of the underlying grievance, even if it appears to be frivolous. • In labor contracts with an arbitration clause, arbitrability is presumed unless there is positive assurance that the arbitration clause is not susceptible to an interpretation that covers the dispute. Doubts should be resolve in favor of coverage. • As long as an arbitration award is based on the bargaining agreement, a court should enforce the award without examination. • In interpreting the labor agreement, the arbitrator is not limited to the words of the contract. The arbitrator can consider factors such as past practice, parole evidence and common law of the shop. (p.436) 3. Explain how the change of ownership of a company affects the duty to…show more content…
What is the process normally utilized in the selection of an arbitrator? Both labor and management pay arbitrator fees and have the ability to select who the arbitrator will be. The arbitrator is expected to provide a service and meet certain professional standards. They are there to decide disputes arising during the life of the collective bargaining agreement which allows them to learn, be familiar with the history and understand their reasoning. Permanent arbitration can help provide a stable union-management relationship, immediate assistance and are able to resolve disputes faster than in court. The arbitrator has to follow the contract language regardless of their opinion as long as the provision is clear. If the contract language is not clear and disputes arise an arbitrator is guided by basic contract interpretation principles derived from common law of contracts: 1. Honor intent of the parties 2. Interpret the agreement as a whole. 3. Give effect to all terms of the agreement 4. Give undefined terms reasonable definitions 5. Avoid absurd results by considering reasoning and equity. If a permanent arbitrator is not designated in the contract, then an impartial agency is agreed on.

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