The Juridification of Labor Arbitration
20 Pages Posted: 4 Nov 2018
Date Written: October 12, 2018
This paper picks up on a decades old debate between Professors Theodore St. Antoine and David Feller. They disputed the value of the U.S. Supreme Court’s enchanted vision of labor arbitration announced in the Steelworker’s Trilogy in 1960. Feller thought arbitral independence to be threatened by the assimilation of law outside the collective agreement. St. Antoine argued that contract qua contract was enough to insulate labor arbitration without all the “mythology” the Court attached to the arbitral role. The author, taking a cue from the Supreme Court’s 2015 decision in P&G Polymers v. Tackett, sees the arbitral role as potentially being threatened by a pure contract focus, one that would incorporate “ordinary contract” law as requisite in the analysis of collective bargaining agreements. In other words, he sees value in enchantment.
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