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JOHN WILEY & SONS, INC. V. LIVINGSTON, 376 U. S. 543 (1964)

U.S. Supreme Court

John Wiley & Sons, Inc. v. Livingston, 376 U.S. 543 (1964)

John Wiley & Sons, Inc. v. Livingston

No. 91

Argued January 9, 13, 1964

Decided March 30, 1964

376 U.S. 543


Respondent labor union brought an action under § 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act to compel arbitration under a collective bargaining agreement executed by a company which the petitioner acquired by merger. The District Court denied relief, but the Court of Appeals reversed and directed arbitration.


1. The courts determine whether arbitration is required, based on the agreement. Atkinson v. Sinclair Refining Co., 370 U. S. 238, followed. Pp. 376 U. S. 546-547.

2. The substantive law which controls suits under § 301 of the Act is federal law. Textile Workers Union v. Lincoln Mills, 353 U. S. 448, followed. P. 376 U. S. 548.

3. Rights of employees under a collective bargaining agreement are not automatically lost by the disappearance by merger of the employer, and, in appropriate circumstances, the successor employer may be required to arbitrate under the contract. P. 376 U. S. 548.

4. Arbitration has a key role in effectuating national labor policy, and when there is substantial continuity of identity in the business enterprise and a clear assertion by the union of rights under the agreement, the duty to arbitrate survives the merger. Pp. 376 U. S. 549-551.

5. Procedural questions growing out of a dispute and bearing on its disposition are to be determined by the arbitrator. Pp. 376 U. S. 555-559.

313 F.2d 52, affirmed, in part on other grounds.

Page 376 U. S. 544

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