The commentary that follows is a call to advocates to take back responsibility for settling the disputes that arise during the life of the collective bargaining agreement by becoming more adept negotiators, able and willing to find and engage the truth and unafraid to lead and make difficult decisions. Only then will the legal machinations and contortions that increasingly plague labor arbitration be rendered unnecessary in most circumstances. I assert that the "creeping legalism" of labor arbitration is a symptom of the too-frequent failure of the contractual grievance procedure to resolve difficult disputes. The conundrum that phenomenon presents can be ameliorated only if the parties mutually commit to attacking that underlying disease forthrightly and earnestly.



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