Joseph Krislov is a professor in the Department of Economics, College of Business and Economics, at the University of Kentucky, John Mead is a professor in the Department of Economics, at the University of Louisville.
They are indebted to S. Sidney Ulmer, Robert Stroup, and Virgil Christian at the University of Kentucky for assistance in the preparation of this article. Sokhen Dey, a graduate student at the University of Louisville, supervised the data processing.
After several voluntary attempts to curtail union conflicts, the American Federation of Labor- Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) adopted a constitutional amendment embodying the Internal Disputes Plan. The 1962 amendment proscribed some organizational activities and established an arbitrator to rule on alleged violations. Since the plan's inauguration, arbitrators have ruled on over 700 alleged violations.
The authors have studied the bulk of these rulings from 1962 through 1978. This article focuses on two issues: (1) whether the plan has curtailed the efforts of larger unions to raid smaller unions and (2) whether it has achieved equal justice for all unions. In answering the second question, the authors explored whether the arbitrator was influenced by the union's size or nature of the issue in reaching a decision.
They conclude that the larger AFL-CIO unions continue to account for more than their share of raiding. Small unions have difficulty in some contests with large unions, but it is not clear why. It appears, on the whole, that the plan per se does not favor larger unions and that the arbitrators issue awards without any apparent favoritism toward the larger groups.