The Supreme Court and Labor Dispute Arbitration: the Emerging Federal Law

Within the past few years, the United States Supreme Court has handed down a number of decisions of great significance to the labor dispute arbitration process. Some have been concerned with problems of arbitrability or arbitral authority; others with the availability and exclusivity of the arbitration process vis-a-vis alternative legal remedies for breach of the labor agreement; and still others with the effect of a breach of obligation by one party to the labor agreement upon the obligations of the other party. We propose in this article to analyze these decisions, to attempt to categorize the different kinds of challenges to arbitral jurisdiction or authority which can be made, and to assess, insofar as this may be done, the import of the Court’s decisions for the arbitration process. In a sense, we shall be dealing with the extent to which, under developing federal law, judicial review of the arbitration process is available.