(a) It is hereby declared to be the public policy of this state and the purposes of this article to encourage the practice and procedure of collective bargaining by protecting the exercise by employees of full freedom of association, self-organization and designation of representatives of their own choosing, for the purpose of negotiating the terms and conditions of their employment or other mutual aid or protection; to prescribe the legitimate rights of both employees and employers in their relations; to provide orderly and peaceful procedures for preventing the interference by either with the legitimate rights of the other; to protect the rights of individual employees in their relations with labor organizations; to define and prescribe practices on the part of labor and management which are inimical to the welfare, prosperity, health and peace of the people of this state; and to protect the rights of the public in connection with labor disputes. This article shall be deemed an exercise of the police power of the state for the protection of the welfare, prosperity, health and peace of the people of this state.
(b) The commissioner of labor or his designated representative may investigate and mediate labor disputes between an employer and a labor organization, whether or not a collective bargaining agreement exists between such parties providing both parties to such dispute request in writing such intervention or provided the commissioner offers such service to both parties and both parties to the dispute agree in writing to the investigation or mediation. The commissioner may arbitrate such disputes or arrange for the selection of boards of arbitration on such terms as all of the parties to such disputes may agree upon. Records of the department relating to labor disputes shall be confidential.
(c) This article is patterned after the provisions of the "National Labor Relations Act," as amended, and except insofar as the provisions of this article differ from the provisions of said act, as amended, the decisions of the national labor relations board and of the courts with respect to said act, as amended, shall be authoritative in the interpretation, administration and application of the provisions of this article.