Mr. Bain is a visiting Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Michigan. Research for this article was supported by the Ford Foundation Program on Unemployment at the University of California, Berkeley. He credits Harold Levinson for comments on an earlier draft.
The public interest in costly labor-management disputes has focused attention on the need for effective alternatives to crisis collective bargaining. Senator Jacob Javits and labor reporter Abe Raskin have recently suggested that established collective bargaining procedures are ineffective and recommend third-party arbitration. In October 1958 the "industrial peace" of the flat glass industry was shattered by a 134-day strike between Pittsburgh Plate Glass (PPG) and the United Glass and Ceramic Workers (UGCW). Negotiations were concluded only after the parties agreed to submit the unresolved issues to third-party arbitration. Eight years after the decisions were rendered it is possible to evaluate the effectiveness of arbitration in flat glass as an alternative to crisis collective bargaining.