The Gardner-Denver Decision and Labor Arbitration.

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      This article examines the aspects of labor arbitration and the 1974 Supreme Court decision in the Gardner-Denver case. Prior to 1940, arbitration was rarely used to settle grievance disputes. As of 1976, arbitration of grievances arising under a collective bargaining agreement is widely accepted by labor and management. The activity of the War Labor Board from 1942 to 1945 was an important favor which accelerated the use of grievance arbitration. In a situation where most unions had voluntarily given up the right to strike. War Labor Board policy encouraged the adoption of contract clauses which provided for the arbitration of disputes over the interpretation and application of agreements. This policy was a strong influence in the direction of making binding arbitration by a neutral third party the final step in the grievance procedure. The Alexander v. Gardner-Denver case involved the discharge of an employee for alleged poor performance. The employee lost at arbitration and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission found that there were no reasonable grounds for finding that he had been discriminated against. The Supreme Court ruled that the arbitration award had not exhausted the grievant's legal remedies.