Review of Court Decisions - Dispute Resolution Journal - Vol. 21, No. 1
Originally from Dispute Resolution Journal
THIS review covers decisions in commercial, labor-management and accident claims cases, arranged under four headings: I. The Arbitration Clause and the Arbitrable Issue; II. The Enforcement of Arbitration Agreements; III. The Arbitrator and the Proceedings; and IV. The Award.
I. THE ARBITRATION CLAUSE AND THE ARBITRABLE ISSUE ARBITRABILITY — SUSPENSION OF OPERATIONS DURING STRIKE
Where the collective bargaining agreement provided for arbitration of a "grievance or misunderstanding," and prohibited strikes or lockouts during the term of the agreement, a dispute over whether the employer had the right to suspend operations during a strike of another union and employer covered by a multi-employer collective bargaining agreement is an issue to be resolved by arbitration. Although it is true that no dispute between the parties existed at the time of the company's decision to suspend operations, a "bona fide dispute did exist . . . once the union communicated to the employer its strong feeling that the employee had no right under the contract to bar its members from their jobs." In the instant case, determination of whether the employer's action was a lockout is not a question for the court, but is "properly within the province of the arbitrator." The duty of the court is to decide only "whether the arbitration clause of the collective bargaining agreement . . . can be reasonably interpreted to coyer the dispute." Local 24, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers v. The Hearst Corporation, 352 F.2d 957 (4th Cir. 1965).