The author is currently a full-time arbitrator and is the author or coauthor of seven books and over 50 articles in the field of industrial relations. He has served as national president of the Industrial Research Association and as vice president of the National Academy of Arbitrators.
Although the number of labor-management arbitrators continues to rise, their caseload has remained relatively steady over recent years. If these conditions persist, labor arbitrators may be inclined to seek to apply their skills in other areas of ADR. The author examines several of these areas and evaluates both the possibility of a labor arbitrator making such a transition, as well as the skills and training that would be necessary. In many cases, labor arbitrators possessing a background in mediation will find themselves much better equipped to diversify their activities.
Arbitrators of labor-management disputes enjoyed what has been called a golden era during the first 30 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 publicsector 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.