Mr. Vernon thoughtfully and with due attention to history develops his thesis that public funding should continue. His article is a contribution to the literature on a subject important to railroad labor and management, the arbitration community, and the general public, whose taxes pay for the grievance machinery in the industry.
Mr. Vernon finds that the strongest arguments for public funding are historical. He maintains that public necessity gave the industry an imprint of uniqueness that has shaped its labor relations, which in turn is marked by substantial government intervention. He sees grievance funding by taxpayers as an integral part of this tapestry—as an exchange for compulsory arbitration, with labor surrendering its right to strike over grievances. Public funding is viewed as the result of an implied compact between the organizations (that is, the unions) and the government. As a corollary, termination of public funding would be considered a breach of faith that could lead to strikes and other grievances."