This report summarizes the results of a study of grievance arbitration in the San Francisco Bay Area as it appears to representatives of labor and management actively engaged in the arbitration process. The information presented is based on interviews with about 35 persons, conducted during the summer and fall of 1966. These included members of the bar representing both management and labor, management association officials, and a few arbitrators and representatives of arbitration agencies. It seems likely that over half of the total grievance arbitration business in the area is accounted for by those who took part in the study. Generally, the study indicates that arbitration works well in this area, and that it has benefited neither side at the expense of the other over the long run. Nevertheless, sharply differing views on specific problems were frequently found to exist among the practitioners of labor arbitration, and responses to questions were often unexpected.
I. The Arbitrator
The Expert as Arbitrator
To determine the practice of evaluating and selecting arbitrators the first question asked was whether an expert is generally preferred. The rough responses indicate a decided majority on both sides desire "experts."