This composition looks at the decisions of the famous Steelworkers Trilogy cases relating to arbitration in cases of labor management disputes. They include United States Steel Workers v. American Manufacturing Co., United States Steel Workers v. Enterprise Wheel and Car Corp. and United States Steel Workers v. Warrior and Gulf Navigation Co, all of which were decided in 1960. These three landmark cases established themselves as the defining authorities for dispute resolutions arising out of grievances between the employee and the employer.
The Supreme Court laid general precedence as to the use of arbitration for problems that are not solvable in-house between the two in these cases. The purpose of this discussion is to provide an understanding of the three cases and determine why they are considered prime authorities for arbitration in cases of collectively bargained agreements (hereafter referred to as CBA). This column looks upon the judgments as a source for the enforceability of arbitration as a means of resolution between individual labors and their employers so that their grievances may be solved by a mutually appointed third party without the need of a court, a means much preferred by those in business for its versatility, ease of use, efficiency, cost effectiveness and the fact that its enforceable by the courts. However, there may be instances where a dispute arises after the arbitrator has ruled in favor of one party which consequently questions the legitimacy of his award and thus is challenged in the court. The three cases form a precedent in favor of using arbitrators to interpret CBAs and apply them in employment related disputes thereby signaling a go-ahead to future such claims, so long as the award does not exceed the scope of the CBA as arbitrators are only allowed to interpret it without exceeding its authority.
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