Alternatives for Labor Arbitrators - Chapter 7 - AAA Handbook on Labor Arbitration & ADR, 3rd Edition
The late Walter J. Gershenfeld (d. 2010) was a full-time Arbitrator and the author or coauthor of seven books and more than fifty articles in the field of industrial relations. He had served as national President of the Industrial Research Association and as Vice President of the National Academy of Arbitrators.
ALTERNATIVES FOR LABOR ARBITRATORS
Walter J. Gershenfeld*
Arbitrators of labor-management disputes enjoyed what has been called a golden era during the first thirty years following World War II. Although the early growth in private-sector grievance arbitration is no longer with us, in recent years we have witnessed an increase in public-sector grievance and interest arbitration. However, while it is clear that the overall labor-management caseload is not growing, the supply of arbitrators continues to rise.
As a result, a growing number of labor-management arbitrators are moving into emerging areas of dispute resolution, selecting those portions of new roles in which they find themselves competent and interested. The future activity of labor-management arbitrators, as it might evolve in both continuing and new roles, is the subject of this chapter. The growing involvement of arbitrators as mediators will be a recurring theme as well.
The design of alternative-dispute-resolution systems, grievance mediation, mediation in statutory cases, fact-finding, traditional grievance arbitration, interest arbitration, arbitration of statutory and non-statutory claims, and commercial disputes are among the areas covered.
II. ADR Systems Design
ADR systems can be self-planned, either jointly by labor and management or unilaterally by a nonunion employer. A growing number of ADR systems in both categories are structured with the assistance of a facilitator. Within collective-bargaining relationships, facilitators are more likely to be utilized in what has been termed “transformed relationships.” The range of activities runs from peer approaches to dispute resolution to better design of traditional systems.