On April 14, 1954, plaintiff company and the defendant union executed a collective bargaining agreement, which by its terms was to expire on March 15, 1956. The agreement provided for vacation pay for employees. The provision for vacation pay was in the following language:
"ARTICLE VI. Vacation and Vacation Pay.
Each employee in the employ of the Employer on each April 15th hereafter during the life of this agreement who has been in its employ at least one (1) year prior thereto but less than three (3) years, shall hereafter receive a vacation of one (1) week with pay as hereinafter set forth at a time to be set by the Employer; each employee in the employ of the Employer on each April 15th hereafter during the life of this agreement who has been in its employ at least three (3) years prior thereto but less than five (5) years, shall hereafter receive a vacation of one (1) week with pay as hereinafter set forth at a time to be set by the Employer; and each employee in the employ of the Employer on each April 15th hereafter who has been in its employ for five (5) years or more prior thereto, shall receive a vacation of two (2) weeks with pay as hereinafter set forth."
The contract also contained an arbitration provision as follows:
"ARTICLE IX. Arbitration.
Any differences or dispute between the parties whether or not a grievance, which is not satisfactorily adjusted under the preceding applicable provisions of this agreement, shall be promptly referred to arbitration, at the request of either party hereto. The arbitrator shall hear the matter expeditiously and render his decision which shall be final and conclusively binding upon the parties hereto.
The arbitrator shall have no jurisdiction or authority to add to, subtract from, modify or alter any of the terms of this agreement; nor shall the arbitrator have jurisdiction or authority to affect, rule upon, or grant any extension or renewal of this agreement.
The compensation and expenses of the arbitrator shall be borne equally by the Union and the Employer.
The arbitrator to hear and decide all questions submitted to arbitration under this agreement shall be David L. Cole, or such other arbitrator as the parties hereto may mutually agree upon from time to time."
On December 31, 1955, the company discontinued its manufacturing operation, sold its machinery and terminated the employment of most of the employees covered by the agreement. On January 9, 1956, the company notified the union that it was terminating the contract on March 15, in accordance with its provisions.
Thereafter, the union asserted a claim for vacation pay on behalf of the employees of the plaintiff, who had theretofore been released. On April 3, 1956 the union informed the arbitrator of its desire for a hearing on the matter of vacation pay. The arbitrator set May 25, 1956 as the date for the hearing. On May 11, the company notified the arbitrator that it considered that his ...