Synopses of Selected Law Review Articles on Arbitration - Dispute Resolution Journal - Vol. 30, No. 2
Henry L. Sisk, a labor arbitrator and industrial psychologist, is a Professor in the College of Business Administration, North Texas State University. The author is indebted to the efforts of Stephen D. Owens who assisted in this project. The project was funded by a faculty research grant from North Texas State University.
Originally from Dispute Resolution Journal
Azoff, E. S., "Joint Committees as an Alternative Form of Arbitration Under the NLRA," 47 Tulane Law Review 325 (February, 1973).
The traditional grievance-arbitration procedure has been criticized on many counts, and recurring problems suggest that there is a need for improvement. Recently, in a few situations, traditional forms of arbitration (the single permanent or ad hoc arbitrator or tripartite board) have been discarded in favor of the joint management-labor grievance committee.
A mirror image of the collective bargaining relationship itself, the joint management-labor committee is composed of an equal number of employer and union representatives. It is an adjudicatory body empowered to hold hearings, to render final binding determinations, as well as to interpret contract clauses. Initially, the joint committee system was adopted as a means of grievance settlement by the Central States Drivers Council of the Teamsters in 1938, but it has been used only recently in that industry nationally.
In this article, the author points out that despite its infrequent use, the joint committee remains a flexible and informal tool for resolving disputes. He shows the current status of the joint committee's decisions before both the NLRB and the federal courts.
In very few situations will the NLRB provide the dissatisfied grievant with relief. Strong union prejudice, a separate employer unfair labor charge, or employer discrimination are the conditions necessary for the NLRB to overturn the committee's decision.