The recent labor disputes in the railroad and airline industries once again demonstrated the need for a legal device to avert work stoppages that would cause irreparable damage to the national economy. Although compulsory arbitration is almost universally opposed by both labor and management and had never before been imposed on American industry in peace time, Congress embraced a strictly limited form of this settlement process in enacting Public Laws 88-108 and 90-54. This comment reviews the recent experience under these two ad hoc statutes passed to prevent national rail strikes. The particular problems arising under these statutes, as well as the policy ends served, are analyzed, and provisions to be included in any future ad hoc compulsory arbitration scheme are suggested.

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