The format of this book is a restatement, where each principle is set out as a bold black letter section and underneath it are both commentary and case references. I have found it to be invaluable and fun to read. The principles are divided into different categories commonly associated with labor arbitrations and this is a multi-author work. It may be out of print, and this is a shame, but if you can get it, buy it. Highly recommended for anyone involved in or interested in labor arbitration.
Common Law of the Workplace: The Views of Arbitrators is a great book
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 16 years ago
As an arbitrator, and also a member of the National Academy of Arbitrators, I disagree strongly with the other review. To begin, the book itself makes it clear that it is NOT official National Academy of Arbitrators Policy or viewpoint. Second, the reviewer actually ignored the WHOLE title of the book. It is "The Common Law of the Workplace: The Views of Arbitrators." If you read it (and this is a readable book (unlike How Arbitration Works: Elkouri & Elkouri for example), you will find 15 scholarly articles written with differing viewpoints. In fact, the arbitrators disagree with each other on some really major points. These analyses are tied to the record made before the arbitrator, and the unique elements of the contracts which the arbitrator is trying to apply and interpret. Black letter principles are followed by analytical examples. One learns that first line arbitrators are not applying a monolithic "The law of the Shop," but are instead trying to apply "The law of a Shop.' The book deals with matters of procedure and substance. It gives a surprisingly succinct overview of such issues as "just cause" for discipline. The section of "Troubled employees' is lyrical. The intricacies of contract interpretation are well laid out -- a difficult subject is made understandable. It has a new section on ethics. Rather than getting a "common law," the careful reader will find a sweet and melodious chorus, which will give you some useful insight into how arbitration cases are really decided by arbitrators. If I could only buy one book on arbitration, this would be it. It provides a lot of 'bang for the buck,'
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 17 years ago
I am the director of labor relations for a state government. I disagree with the fundamental premise of this book inasmuch as I reject the notion that there IS a common law of workplaces. That said, the arbitrators are all citing to this work and it is authoritative. At minimum a practitioner should have it to see what the Academy is thinking and adjust your argument and presentation accordingly. My beef with the Academy, and they know who they are, is the whole notion of "inherent ambiguity" in contract language espoused in this book. To my mind, it is simply a rationalization for broad equity powers for arbitrators, power that I deny that they have unless expressly conferred by the agreement. As I said, I disagree with it, but I have it and insist that my staff at least consult it.
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