Labor Disputes: Arbitration vs. Striking
Unfortunately, employees and management do not always see things in concert. This can lead to labor disputes that can be disruptive for the lives of both management and employees. When there is a complete impasse, two options are widely available to the collective bargaining unit employees. They are the right to strike and the right to arbitration.
To a great degree, arbitration is a much better option for a number of reasons. Mostly, strikes can be long, drawn out costly affairs that will result in the employees having to miss many days of work until the strike is settled. (If it is settled, that is) When an arbitrator makes a decision, management (and employees) must abide by the decision within the specified terms of the decision. It is because of this expediency that the Conciliation and Arbitration Act remains a useful piece of legislation, as the Australian government, realizing the expediency of arbitration, has authority to invoke arbitration for the betterment of the nation’s economic good and for the welfare of all parties involved.
However, the disadvantage to arbitration is that all the requirements of the employees might not be met. In some ways, this could lead to management getting away with not having to meet all the terms of the bargaining unit in a manner that would not have been possible if they had been taken to the alternate route of caving in to striking workers.
Again, arbitration remains the most beneficial form of disputing a labor issues, but it does have certain inherent flaws that may make it unpopular to some.