The three cases at hand discuss a similar issue of employment arbitration. Prior to their judgments, there was much confusion with respect to the use of arbitration in collective bargaining agreements and whether it was even allowed at the contractual level in labor disputes. Labor organizations such as the United States Steelworkers and National Labor Union would be involved in representing individual labors to solve their issues regarding wages and benefits in the employment industry. Such type of arbitration, where the responsibility of determining the terms of the CBA is dedicated to a neutral arbitrator, is known as interest arbitration.
Previously, in the early 1900s, labor disputes were more a matter of claims for personal injury acquired at the workplace. Claims for other matters were largely inhibited by the costs involved, the inefficiencies of the judicial system and the resulting delays and would rarely be advanced to courts. The use of worker compensation schemes governed the workplace dispute resolutions and thus became widespread. There were statutes employed as a result to counter the growing requirements of the labor industry. The Norris La-Guardia Act of 1932 was one of them which went as far as withdrawing federal court jurisdiction over matters concerning employment disputes which were one of the causes of the slow process. In 1935, the National Labor Relations Act was enacted which created the National Labor Relations Board, went some way towards speeding up the labor oriented judicial process as it was designed to speed up the system by dealing with the most significant labor issues of the time. More statutes followed, including the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 which governed the private matters of the labor force and allowed them to be enforced in courts by delegating power to the Department of Labor (Bedman, 2002).
For alternative dispute resolutions in those times, the governing statute was the Federal Arbitration Act of 1925. The labor unions were disparate in support for this act and resorted more to judicial proceedings instead. However, by the 1950s, labor organizations had increasingly resorted to using non-judicial remedial proceedings to solve employment problems and in 1960, the decision of the Supreme Court in the Steelworkers cases marked the official recognition of arbitration as the preferred mode of dispute resolution for collective bargaining agreements (Bedman, 2002). This was a welcome change and allowed for a much speedier authoritative method for solving labor management issues.
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