The Juridification of Labor Arbitration

20 Pages Posted: 4 Nov 2018

See all articles by Matthew Finkin

Matthew Finkin

University of Illinois College of Law

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.

Suggested Citation

Finkin, Matthew W., The Juridification of Labor Arbitration (October 12, 2018). Available at SSRN: or

Matthew W. Finkin (Contact Author)

University of Illinois College of Law ( email )

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