Labor Law–Jurisdiction–Contractual Interpretation, Unfair Labor Practices, and Arbitration: A Proposed Resolution of Jurisdictional Overlap

In San Diego Building Trades Council v. Garmon, the Supreme Court held that the state and federal courts must defer to the exclusive jurisdiction of the National Labor Relations Board when an activity is arguably an unfair labor practice as defined by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). At the same time, section 301(a) of the Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA) provides that the courts have jurisdiction in actions alleging violations of collective agreements. Two distinct factual settings have emerged in which these jurisdictional propositions are at odds.