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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 98786 Find in a Library
Title: Mediation in Labor Disputes and Divorces - A Comparative Analysis
Journal: Mediation Quarterly  Issue:2  Dated:(December 1983)  Pages:67-78
Author(s): J R Markowitz; P S Engram
Date Published: 1983
Page Count: 12
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This chapter compares the content and methods of labor and divorce mediation and examines the prospects for exchanging mediation techniques between these fields.
Abstract: Divorce and labor mediation have techniques in common: reducing expectations, pointing out the consequences of failure to resolve the dispute, ordering priorities, focusing on problems rather than personalities, suggesting compromises, and facilitating a 'win-win' resolution. However, mediators in the two fields have different ethical obligations. In labor negotiations, certain factors militate against mediators' judging the fairness of the bargain struck: the parties' experience, the availability of traditional economic sanctions, and the use of professional representatives. Labor negotiators must focus on obtaining a settlement, and they should not intrude on dispute resolutions the parties deem mutually acceptable. The divorce mediator, on the other hand, is responsible for the quality and fairness of the mediation agreement, which, unlike labor contracts, is not likely to be renegotiated within 2 or 3 years. The divorce mediator also is ethically obligated to consider the children of divorce. Still, ethical differences should not obscure areas which hold the potential for exchange between the two fields: (1) the structured character of divorce mediation's introductory process may prove useful to the neutral labor mediator, (2) the divorce mediator may wish to experiment with the riskier techniques of intervention used by the labor mediator, (3) in some situations, divorcing parties should be represented by attorneys from the outset of negotiations, and (4) the labor mediator may be able to use the divorce mediator's techniques to cut through parties' animosity to facilitate an agreement. Ten references are listed.
Index Term(s): Comparative analysis; Divorce mediation; Labor relations; Mediation
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