16
DISPUTES SETTLEMENT:
THE GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE
AND THE ROLE OF
VOLUNTARY ARBITRATION

Benjamin Aaron


INTRODUCTION

Grievances involve disputes over the interpretation and application of private collective-bargaining agreements between employers and unions. They are thus to be distinguished from disputes over the terms to be incorporated into such agreements at the time they are negotiated. This same dichotomy is known in many other countries as that between disputes over rights (corresponding to our grievances) and disputes over interests (corresponding to our contract-terms disputes). The procedures for settling the latter type of dispute in the United States differ substantially from the established methods of grievance handling and settlement ; and they are outside the scope of the present discussion.


THE COLLECTIVE-BARGAINING SYSTEM

Because the grievance and voluntary arbitration procedure is an integral part of this country's collective-bargaining system, which in turn is a reflection of the philosophical, political, and economic values on which our democratic society is based, I want to discuss, at the outset, those values.


Philosophical Values

Public opinion in the United States has traditionally demonstrated an adherence to pluralism, a broad tolerance of ambiguity, and a general agreement on certain ethical postulates. Ameri

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