Divorce Mediation Blog

Post-Thanksgiving Blues: Twinkies’ Mediation Fails

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

We rooted for the mediator, but we lost.

The Hostess vs. baker’s union clash proved too much for the court-appointed mediator, which goes to show that mediation only works to the extent that knowing and determined participants have the will to recognize the overlap in their interests enough to either expand the pie to create more value to share, or to compromise such that each side gets a slice that is “good enough”. In this case of failed mediation, an employer will die and many jobs along with it.

The skilled mediator may help the parties to recognize their interests, and to distinguish them pragmatically from their positions, but he or she cannot create a new pie out of dust and disappointment. Suitors are apparently lined up to purchase the Twinkie product line from the bankrupt estate; but that is cold comfort to the families that depend on Hostess, on both sides of the labor fence.

If the Twinkie itself goes, the mystery cream may be missed but the Hostess jobs will be missed a whole lot more.

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