Washington Law Review


The significance of the collective labor agreement is naturally of importance to employers and their workers, but the public as a whole has an equally vital interest in the matter. The strike and its picket line, the lockout and the blacklist all create economic waste ultimately borne by the public. The concurrent disruption of industrial life and the imminence of violence and bloodshed suggest the value of industrial peace to the community, ind this is particularly true in wartime, when the utmost possible elimination of interruptions in production becomes a matter of urgent iational concern. The collective agreement, representing the culmination of bargaining between two substantially equal economic groups, offers perhaps the best method of establishing stability in the employer-employee relationship. In the analysis, then, of the problems created in the attempted enforcement of these agreements, the effect that their interpretation will have upon all three groups—laborers, employers, and the public—must be considered. It is with this in mind that we undertake to outline the problems relating to the legal validity of the collective labor agreement. It must be recognized, of course, that many developments in the law relative to the nature and effect of collective bargaining agreements will be more or less frozen for the duration of the war, with final decisions on many important questions held temporarily in abeyance until the emergency is over.

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