Labor - Chapter 3 - ADR and the Law - 21st Edition
Stephen B. Goldberg, Professor of Law, Northwestern University.
Originally from ADR and the Law - 21st Edition
In 1980, four Districts of the United Mine Workers of America and four coal companies located in those Districts agreed to participate in a grievance mediation experiment. Since then, many companies and unions in a variety of industries have used grievance mediation. This article, relying on over 20 years of empirical data collection on mediation costs and outcomes, as well as on recent interviews with union and management representatives, focuses on the long-term effect of grievance mediation on the parties’ ability to resolve grievances without the need of a mediator, as well as on the effect of grievance mediation on the labor-management relationship. Finally, the article examines why grievance mediation survives in some relationships and perishes in others.
The article begins with a description of grievance mediation, followed by a discussion of its potential short-term advantages (inexpensive, efficient, procedural and outcome satisfaction), and questions about its long-term effects. Then, after a brief report of the empirical data on mediation costs and outcomes, the article summarizes and quotes from the recent interviews, concluding with cautious optimism regarding the capacity of grievance mediation to achieve long-term benefits for labor and management.
Chapter 3. Labor
The Long-Term Effects of Grievance Mediation
Stephen B. Goldberg