The Impact of the Courts on Arbitration and the Right to Manage

by John Bangs, Frank Fraser



Unless management surrenders its authority to the unions, to the courts and to arbitrators, the going will be "rough" that is the forecast of this article, which finds that management prerogatives have been drastically reduced by recent decisions of courts on cases involving arbitration. Collective bargaining agreements customarily include a management clause in which the employer enunciates certain general prerogatives that he holds to be his heritage as owner of the business. The assumption that management initiates action and that union only has the right of protest through grievances when something extracted in negotiations is denied them is becoming fallacious. The process of labor arbitration and decisions by the courts are seriously diluting management's right of decision-making. Many industrial leaders are too preoccupied with immediate, short-term problem areas to recognize and evaluate the impact of long-term policy that is currently being procreated in the U.S. In its early days American labor arbitration was more concerned with disputes relating to organizational efforts and contract negotiations than it was with the interpretation of collective bargaining agreements. However, for ten years the law lay dormant and not a single case was arbitrated under the legislation.

California Management Review

Berkeley-Haas's Premier Management Journal

Published at Berkeley Haas for more than sixty years, California Management Review seeks to share knowledge that challenges convention and shows a better way of doing business.

Learn more
Follow Us