The New York Times Embraces Mediation To End Dispute

The New York Times is in a contract dispute with the Newspaper Guild of New York.  The parties have agreed to mediate their dispute.  An article entitled “New York Times Turns To Mediation To Break Contract Deadlock” by Katherine Fung, published on October 10, 2012 in The Huffington Post describes how the parties agreed to mediation on the heels of a employee walkout and management’s sudden termination of a negotiation session.

Donald G. McNeil Jr., who has been active in the conflict, stated that the agreement to mediate: “is very good for the process – we were getting nowhere.”  Id.  He explained the process to the Guild in the memo in part as follows:   “Mediation is not arbitration. An arbitrator hears both sides and then imposes a deal. A mediator listens to both sides and then shuttles back and forth between the two rooms like Henry Kissinger, leaning on each of them to give in bit by bit until a deal is reached.  It’s good for the process because at last a grownup is being dragged into it who can listen…”  Id.   [Author’s note:  mediators use a number of methods to help parties reach an agreement; sometimes the parties are in different rooms the whole time, and sometimes everyone is in the same room.  The structure of the mediation depends on the needs and desires of the parties, and the judgment of the mediator].

The New York Times also spoke positively about mediation.   New York Times Publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. wrote that “the Company and the Guild have agreed to mediation in order to maximize the potential of reaching a new collective bargaining agreement.”  “New York Times, Guild turn to mediation” by Andrew Beaujon, published October 11, 2012 in Poynter (emphasis added).    

Mediation is embraced by big and small companies, countries and individuals in conflict.  Whether negotiating a collective bargaining agreement or the terms of a divorce, using a mediator helps defuse conflict, generate options and resolve disputes.

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  This is a general interest article only and is not intended to be legal advice.  See a legal professional before making legal decisions. 


Simmons & Gottfried, PLLC
8160 E. Butherus Dr., Suite #7
Scottsdale, AZ 85260


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