I wonder how the upcoming CBA will affect arbitration? Will the general managers be able to convince the arbitrators that costs need to be kept down?
That would not be a factor. An arbitrator would see their role to justly compensate a worker vis-a-vis other relevant salaries in the firm. A business' ability to pay is not lawful for a business to argue in collective bargaining so I believe that would also apply to collective bargaining. Arbitrators would not do that for any business.