Reconciling Differences: The Theory and Law of Mediating Labor Grievances
Industrial Relations Law Journal, Vol. 9, p. 523, 1987
74 Pages Posted: 5 Oct 2010
Date Written: 1987
While grievance arbitration is the most common method of resolution of disputes arising under collective bargaining agreements, the author proposes that there is also a place for grievance mediation. The author compares mediation to arbitration and negotiation, and describes the strengths and weaknesses of mediation. She explains how mediation clauses in labor agreements could be enforced under section 301 of the LMRA, to protect rights created by those agreements, and proposes that mediation clauses be a basis for injunctions against strikes during the term of an agreement in certain situations. However, the author suggests that courts and the National Labor Relations Board should still have primary responsibility for enforcing non-waivable statutory rights. The author discusses the legal standards for review of arbitration and mediation in Title VII cases, in which the courts generally do not defer to prior findings. She then analyzes the Board's deferral doctrines in depth, and suggests that agreements to mediate should be given deference by the Board when the rights at issue are waivable. The author concludes that, under that standard, mediation could help maintain the relationships necessary for effective collective bargaining without sacrificing protections guaranteed by the law.
Keywords: Grievance Mediation, Labor Strikes, Labor Arbitration, Statutory Rights, Labor Mediation, NLRB, Collective Bargaining Units, Labor Unions, Labor Disputes
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