To determine whether experienced participants view labor arbitration in the same way, the author surveyed and has summarized the opinions of arbitrators, labor representatives, and management representatives on a number of issues central to the arbitral process. What emerges is a remarkable lack of consensus. Not only do labor and management frequently disagree, but each side's advocates disagree among themselves. Add to that the arbitrators' own unique perspectives, and the complexity of the process is further compounded.
Resolving labor disputes in an arbitral forum is a fascinating process that involves a host of diverse, and often conflicting, dynamics. Each participant enters arbitration with his or her unique pressures and expectations, often with little or no understanding of the perspectives of the other players. Participants are sometimes genuinely surprised by the perceptions that the others hold and by what they expect from the process.