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Copyright (c) 2008 University of Pennsylvania Journal of Business & Employment Law
University of Pennsylvania Journal of Business & Employment Law

Comment: Reaching Too Far? An Analysis of the Circuit Split Regarding The Scope of Arbitration Clauses in Collective Bargaining Agreements

Fall, 2008

UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA JOURNAL OF BUSINESS LAW

11 U. Pa. J. Bus. & Emp. L. 237

Author

Daniel T. Lloyd*

Excerpt

Introduction
 
As the United States' national economy has expanded, so have the complexity and sophistication of labor negotiations and labor agreements. Workers yearning for the many potential benefits to be gained by collective bargaining often enter into elaborate agreements with their employers. 1 In the modern era, CBAs have become commonplace in American labor law. 2 Despite many legal opinions and cases discussing CBAs, a lesser-known area of controversy is the law regarding side agreements to CBAs. The process of crafting an agreement that is satisfactory to all parties involved in complex labor negotiations is extremely difficult, and as a result, employers and labor unions often enter into side agreements for any number of reasons. 3 Side agreements allow both labor unions and employers to modify their existing relationship and to concurrently avoid the risk of opening up the existing CBA for negotiation on other unrelated issues. 4

Disagreements and litigation have always coexisted with CBAs and related side agreements. Modern labor policy emphasizes that the preferred forum for disputed CBAs is arbitration, rather than typical court proceedings. 5 As a result, arbitration clauses have become a mainstay in most modern CBAs. 6 Side agreements, which are often far less complex than the CBAs they are related to, do not always explicitly contain a separate arbitration clause. 7 While a cursory evaluation would seem to indicate that an agreement without an arbitration clause cannot be subject to mandatory arbitration, in certain circumstances courts have held ...
 
 
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