Professor of Law and Industrial Relations, University of Pittsburgh; labor arbitrator since 1952. This article is also being published in the Spring issue of the University of Pittsburgh Law Review, Volume 31.
A labor arbitrator who has been selected to arbitrate a labor dispute has a duty to disclose to the parties certain types of information concerning his background, associations and relationships, but the duty usually is stated in such general terms that the arbitrator frequently is at a loss to know exactly what the abstract language means. The purpose of this article is to shed some light on what a labor arbitrator should disclose to the parties. The answer to the question is important for many reasons, one of which is that the arbitrator's award may be vacated if he has not properly fulfilled his duty.
There are several bases for the principle that a labor arbitrator has a duty to disclose certain information to the parties.