Vanderbilt Law Review


Robert Abelow

First Page



In the area of grievance and arbitration machinery, unions are demanding protection against damage claims and court actions and insisting that arbitration be the sole and exclusive remedy for all disputes. Not only are unions insisting upon arbitration of grievances arising under the contract, but they are also insisting upon arbitration of other types of disputes growing out of the relationship between the parties, whether covered by the contract or not. Unions also seek immunity from damage claims in the event of so-called "wildcat strikes" and fiercely resist provisions which would enable management to obtain relief from courts when "no-strike" clauses are violated. Management is faced with the problem of finding an accommodation between its objectives of operating efficiently, remaining competitive, paying fair wages, granting reasonable fringe benefits,remaining strike-free, and the objectives of the union in getting more pay for employees, protecting jobs and job opportunities, making the union more secure, and obtaining a voice in the running of the business. In a recent negotiation in which the writer was involved, it took two months to settle the so-called "non-money" issues and only two days to agree upon "money" matters. It will be the purpose of this article to discuss some of the changes that unions are now seeking and will continue to seek in forthcoming contract negotiations and to suggest some approaches which management may take.