The use of arbitration as a means of settling labor-management disputes has increased steadily in the past twenty years. Recent decisions of the Supreme Court have underlined the importance of the process. The natural tendency is to compare labor arbitration with the court system as an adjudicatory process. There are, however, significant differences between the two, and this needs to be better understood.

An intelligent evaluation of the differences, and of the labor arbitration tribunal in general, can be made only after an exploration of its origin and history, and after some consideration of the kinds of cases which are submitted for decision.