Vanderbilt Law Review


Alan C. Rosser

First Page



In 1935, when the Wagner Act was passed, arbitration was not used extensively as a method of settling labor disputes. Most parties to labor disputes relied on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) or the courts as means of settlement, rather than binding themselves to the decision of an arbitrator.' Gradually, however, with the increased avail-ability of more skilled arbitrators and the acute awareness of the costs of outside solution, arbitration has become a highly popular method of settling labor disputes. It is estimated that 94 percent of all collective bargaining agreements now provide for arbitration of grievances not settled by the parties themselves. Much of this popularity has been due to its recognition as a successful alternative to litigation, and to its judicial sanction by the Supreme Court as "a major factor in achieving industrial peace."' Recently, in Boys Markets Inc. v. Retail Clerks, the Supreme Court reiterated its approval of the arbitration process by suggesting that arbitration has become "the central institution in the administration of collective bargaining contracts."