From its very beginning in 1834, the Long Island Rail Road has been a pioneer in American railroading. It was the first to introduce diesel-electric locomotives in road service, the first to install fully automatic speed control systems, the first to use all-steel cars, and way back in 1885, the first to use a "piggyback" operation to haul farm wagons to market on railroad flat cars. So, it only seems natural that we may be one of the first railroads to be breaking tradition to set up our own system of expedited arbitration.
Arbitration has long been an important part of the railroad industry's handling of matters of joint concern with its employees. Availability of arbitration procedures for settling disputes goes back to before the turn of the century; to Congress' enactment of the socalled "Arbitration Act" of 1888. This Act remained on the books for ten years but its arbitration provisions were never actually invoked with respect to any disputes. The consequences of not resorting to arbitration were, no doubt, disastrous in many cases. Perhaps the most cited case of that time, wherein arbitration procedures might better have been invoked, related to the Pullman strike of 1894.