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Arbitrator, law professor tapped to head national labor board
STANFORD -- President Clinton intends to nominate Stanford University law Professor William B. Gould IV to the National Labor Relations Board, the White House announced Monday, June 28. The appointment requires confirmation by the U.S. Senate. Upon confirmation, the President intends to designate him as chairman of the board, the White House said..
Gould, the Charles A. Beardsley professor of law since 1984, would be the first labor law scholar and the first black American to head the 58-year-old National Labor Relations Board. The board is responsible for conducting workplace elections to determine whether workers will be represented by labor organizations or not, and it determines which conduct by management and labor is unfair under the law. As a staff attorney for the board from 1963- 65, Gould drafted opinions for earlier board members.
Gould, 56, has been an impartial arbitrator of labor-management disputes since 1965 and a Stanford law professor since 1972. He is the author of six books and more than 50 journal articles dealing with labor law and policy in the United States and elsewhere.
A new book called Agenda for Reform: the Future of Employment Relationships and the Law, is to be published by M.I.T. Press this week, and the third edition of his Primer on American Labor Law is due out later this summer. A decade ago, he authored Japan's Reshaping of American Labor Law, which proposes procedures through which labor and management in this country can establish more cooperative relationships.
In March, the Clinton administration appointed Gould to the Commission for the Future of Worker-Management Relations, a new panel asked to investigate methods of improving the productivity and global competitiveness of the American workplace.
A member of the National Academy of Arbitrators since 1970, Gould has arbitrated and mediated more than 200 management-labor disputes in both the private and the public sector. These range from disputes over high-stakes individual Major League Baseball player contracts to pay rates for thousands of Detroit public school teachers.
"The one regret I have about accepting this new position is that I will have to give up arbitrating in baseball," said Gould, an avid fan of the game, who sided this past year with Andy Benes in his request for $2.05 million from the San Diego Padres and with the Oakland Athletics in its offer of $625,000 to Jerry Brown. (To encourage settlements, arbitrators in baseball salary disputes are required to choose either the management's last offer or the player's last wage demand.)
In 1984, Gould chaired a California State Bar committee that issued a report - the first of its kind in the nation - recommending the state adopt a comprehensive law to protect primarily non-unionized workers from wrongful discharge. He also chaired a Task Force on Collective Bargaining for the mayor of San Francisco in 1990-91 and has been an observer of negotiations to end apartheid in South Africa. He is a frequent newspaper and magazine commentator on labor law and politics in South Africa.
Gould has also served pro bono in a number of class actions against racial and national origin discrimination in hiring and promotion.
Born in Boston and raised in Long Branch, N. J., Gould is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island and Cornell Law School, and he attended the London School of Economics as a graduate student. He has been a Fulbright lecturer at the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa, a fellow of the East-West Center in Honolulu, a Guggenheim fellow at the University of Tokyo and a visiting fellow at Cambridge University in England, European University Institute in Italy and Australian National University.
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