Some anxious thoughts on the future of labor arbitration

October 28, 2019

By Arnold Zack
LWP Senior Resarch Associate

As a laborÔÇÉmanagement arbitrator for more than 60 years, I have witnessed the practice change
from an informal problem solving conference to a formal lawyered adversarial combat where
winning preempts compromise. The contrast reflects the changing nature of the workplace and
workforce, the altered priorities of the parties, the rising cost of bringing cases to arbitration,
the changes in balance of power between the unions and employers and the shrinking role that
unions have struggled to maintain in the increasingly antagonistic political and legal warfare of
the current labor management relationship.

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