Merits of Voluntary Arbitration

The intrinsic merits of voluntary arbitration speak highly of the system itself.  As a mode of labor dispute settlement and resolution, it is very compatible and consistent with the private character of collective bargaining. In fact, the grievance procedure with voluntary arbitration as the terminal step is the heart and soul of every collective bargaining. Thus, the entire collective bargaining process does not end with the conclusion and signing of a collective bargaining agreement. It continues as a day-to-day process of implementing the CBA in accordance with the letter and intent of its framers – the parties themselves. The entire collective bargaining process calls for the mutual adjustment of grievances by the parties should differences arise in the contract implementation and interpretation. Thus, without a carefully formulated and workable grievance procedure and voluntary arbitration, the contract can be reduced into a mere scrap of paper instead of being a source of stability in the relationship between the contracting parties. It becomes a very rich source of complaints, grievances and irritants.

Compared to litigation, the very private character of voluntary arbitration can make the proceedings before voluntary arbitrators less technical. The method of selecting voluntary arbitrators where trust and confidence of both parties on his competence, integrity and impartiality becomes the key determinant, places the arbitrator in a highly influential position to succeed in the last ditch effort to conciliate their differences. Should he fail, he can speed up the proceedings by conducting very informal hearings and satisfy the due process requirement without being saddled by the strict observance of the rules on evidence obtaining in regular courts.

Because he is a private person, the voluntary arbitrator has the material time to attend to the case that he handles and he can adopt his own procedures that would allow unnecessary delay and dilatory tactics like resetting and postponement of hearings.

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