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Canada As A Model For First-Contract Arbitration

While many workers are fighting for the right to form unions, a successful union election is often not the end of the battle. In recent years, most U.S. employees who have managed to form new unions have still been unable to bargain first contracts with their employers in a timely way, as companies use stalling tactics to effectively uphold the status quo. One widely advocated solution is first-contract arbitration, which gives a new union or the employer the option of entering binding arbitration when the parties cannot resolve their first collective bargaining session. EPI's June 25 Issue Brief, First-Contract Arbitration Facts: The Canadian Experience, outlines how this practice is more common in Canada, where it has been used successfully to help union employees win contracts and could be used as a model for win-win bargaining in the United States. The paper, which was co-authored by EPI Vice President Ross Eisenbrey, notes that first-contract arbitration has been used without weakening employers or the o

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