The Steel Workers Trilogy
This is a series of three cases brought forward by the United States Steel Workers against three large American corporations, and they set precedents regarding the arbitration of collective bargaining cases. All the cases were brought forward in the 1960’s.
The first was the case number 443 of the United States Steel Workers v. Warrior and Gulf Navigation Co. It was argued on April 27th 1960 and finally decided on June 20th 1960. The labour party filed a suit against the employer regarding their practice of laying off able workers then contracting the labour externally. The court of Appeals ruled that the decision to contract outside work was strictly a managerial function and fell within the contractual agreement; thus it sustained the Judgement of the District Court and dismissed the complainant case (Sloane & Witney, 2010).
The second case was argued in the Supreme Court between United States Steel Workers v. Enterprise Wheel and Car Corporation. It was case Number 538 and was argued on April 28th and decided on June 20th in the year 1960. Employees were dismissed in the course of the term during which a collective bargaining agreement was in place containing a provision for arbitration of disputes, including differences as to the agreement’s “meaning and application”, and a provision for restoration and payment made to the discharged employees concerning in violation of the agreement (Sloane & Witney, 2010). The Court of appeals ruled that the award (to the complainant) was unenforceable because of technicalities of specificity and the term of the collective bargaining agreements.
The third and final case was between United States Steel Workers v. American Manufacturing Company. It was designated case number 360 and was argued on April 27th 1960 and decided June 20th 1960. The court of appeals reversed the lower courts judgement, on the grounds that the court had no jurisdiction to arbitrate between the two parties, and any discrepancies arising thereof were to be submitted before a board of arbitrators for a decision (Sloane & Witney, 2010). The Federal courts ruled to leave all the arbitration of such claims because both parties had validly agreed to submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of a board of arbitrators.
Sloane, A. A., & Witney, F. (2010). Labor Relations. Upper Saddle River, N.J: Pearson/Prentice-Hall.