USA Today News reported in a November 19, 2012 article entitled: “Long Live Twinkies? Hostess, Union to Mediate” that Hostess Brands and the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union are going to mediate their dispute. The union members have been on strike since November 9, 2012 resulting in Hostess Brands’ decision to file for bankruptcy. The wise bankruptcy Judge, Robert Drain, asked the Union’s attorney if his client would agree to mediate (mediation is a voluntary process, so both parties have to agree to it). Judge Drain stated: “Not to have gone through that step [mediation] leaves a huge question mark in this case.”
Mediation is an excellent first step for addressing most conflicts. In mediation, parties negotiate, problem solve and work to understand the other party with the goal of achieving a full agreement. With a full agreement, Court, bankruptcy, job loss and other undesirable outcomes can often be avoided. The mediator, who is a neutral party trained in conflict resolution, guides the parties toward resolution in a process that is less expensive, less time consuming, and less stressful than litigation. What is more, mediation is successful most of the time. Mediation helps parties find optimal solutions for all parties. Good luck to both Hostess and the workers who help make their beloved products.
Alona M. Gottfried is a mediator and attorney in Arizona. If you have questions about mediation, she can be reached at: 480-998-1500 or firstname.lastname@example.org. This is a general interest article only and is not intended to be legal advice. See a legal professional before making legal decisions.
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