Davey, Harold W.
April 1948
Industrial & Labor Relations Review;Apr48, Vol. 1 Issue 3, p386
Academic Journal
Although the Labor-Management Relations Act, 1947, recognizes that improved and augmented government facilities for conciliation, mediation, and voluntary arbitration are necessary, the act pointedly fails to underline the importance of voluntary arbitration as a proven successful method of resolving labor disputes. In specifying the duties of the new Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, the act does not mention voluntary arbitration as a procedure to be encouraged. Notwithstanding this, however, there can no longer be any doubt that voluntary arbitration is an essential element in free collective bargaining. One of the most heartening developments in labor relations during World War II was the increased use of arbitration as the terminal point in grievance procedure for the final settlement of disputes arising out of the interpretation or application of existing contracts,a This increased nonlegislative confidence in voluntary arbitration should be encouraged to the fullest extent. In this article the author undertakes to discuss four major types of hazards in the use of voluntary arbitration, upon the avoidance of which may depend the future utilization of this method of peaceful solution to labor disputes. These hazards may be summarized as follows: 1. A continuing failure to appreciate the fundamental distinction between mediation and arbitration, which frequently results in an operating assumption that arbitration is essentially a political rather than a quasijudicial process. The most dangerous manifestation of this lack of understanding is a cynical attitude toward the process, which results in pressure by management and labor to obtain arbitrators who are "impartially on our side." 2. An overoptimistic estimate of the effective scope of labor arbitration, which tends to consider it as an all-purpose tool or panacea for the resolution of any and all disputes which the parties fail to settle privately. 3. A tendency to utilize the arbitration...


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