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Employment mediation

Why go to mediation? Yes it’s cheaper and quicker and more likely to resolve all your issues than the ones listed on your claim form, but the real reason to go? It works.

Director of Legal affairs at Air France Frank Raimbault started mediation as an internal process to reduce the problems with staff, for the quite simple reason “our staff are in contact with passengers when they buy their tickets, as they board their planes and during their flight, etc. We cannot allow a member of staff who is in conflict with management to degrade the image of the company.”

As a result 48 out of 50 disputes which went through the internal mediation procedure reached a resolution with no need to go to employment tribunal. A 96% success rate is something not dissimilar Northwest Mediation’s and we’re proud to tell clients that we believe in mediation as a process because we’ve seen the outcomes. Air France is clearly reaping the benefit as well “Mediation at Air France has dramatically reduced litigation, improved our corporate image – not least among magistrates – and is available to staff for free”

Northwest Mediation carries out employment mediation in all areas of work, from high street to manufacturers and service industries.

The Canadian education minister Stephen Lecce knows that mediation works and has suggested it may be the way to find a resolution between the premier of Ontario, Doug Ford, and Ontario’s Teachers Union who are currently in dispute over terms and conditions. Three quarters of the teaching unions have already taken steps toward strike action so the need for mediation is urgent.

But when should you go to mediation? Well this article makes it clear that it’s the sooner the better, not as a last resort.

Before you go to your solicitor you can come to mediation, after you've issued proceedings you can come to mediation, even after judgment you can still come to Northwest Mediation.

Back to airlines and it’s South African Airways (SAA) where mediation has been taking place between South African Cabin Crew Association (SACCA), National Union for Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) and SAA’s management. Strikes are already in action here with some internal and international flights being cancelled over the Unions’ demand for an 8% pay rise, as against the offered 5.9%.

Feedback from the mediation to members is due to take place with spokesperson for NUMSA Phakamile Hlubi-Majola saying “Numsa and Sacca will be briefing workers on the Section 150 mediation which took place, under the auspices of the CCMA, between unions and SAA management yesterday.”

And lawyers see the benefit of mediation to! Here in the case of Junior Larry Hillbroom who is suing his former lawyers for malpractice (negligence in our terminology). The original case in which negligence is alleged was brought by Hillbroom in respect of a challenge to his father’s estate (estimated at $600 million) but after settlement he argued that his lawyers (Barry Israel and David Lujan) did not give him opportunity to challenge their 56% retainer!

The hearing would have been by jury trial but Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona has vacated the trial date after both sides expressed a wish to resolve matters by mediation.

In the final employment dispute this week United Steelworkers Local 1-1937 are suggesting that the Western Forest Products have rejected an offer of mediation. The the union’s workers commenced a strike following a 98% vote in favour of a walk outs leading to shut downs of various mill works and some shifts being cancelled.

However, Susan Dolinski Vice-President of Corporate Affairs for WFP confirmed “we are fully committed to the collective bargaining process and we have continued to push for the appointment of a mediator since we first made the request on June 25…What is really promising for Western is that the USW has agreed to mediation, which is good news from our perspective…As is typical during this process, both parties express their preferences regarding the appointment of a mediator and that’s where we are at in the process”

If there is a delay in choosing a mediator it can feel like a refusal to engage so it is always important for all those involved to be clear about their intentions, clearly from airlines to mill owners to lawyers it is accepted that mediation is by far the best way to resolve your dispute.

As we’ve said before choose to mediate early and resolve your issues effectively, timeously, and with less stress and costs than going to your solicitor. You have an interest in the outcome the sooner you get round the mediation table the quicker you can move forward and avoid the grilling a cross examination in court would put you through.

By having a deep and meaningful discussions with parties the mediator elicits what the true “red-lines” are and where there is the potential for compromise, it is with this structured period of reflection that the parties are then able to reach an accord.

The flexible nature of mediation and the possible outcomes make it an ideal way to resolve disputes in an ever changing world and the open nature of discussions in mediation whilst remaining confidential allows all sides to engage fully in the process and understand the needs of all involved allowing parties to reach a conclusion which both sides can live with and move on.

There are so many situations which could have been resolved by early intervention of mediation it continues to surprise me the lengths the public (and some lawyers) will go to avoid referral.

Don't gamble keep control of your solutions. Whether you need a mediator to help out with a construction matter in the Northwest, or council’s plans in Cheshire, a civil mediator in London, a commercial mediator in Manchester, a dispute resolution for your family in Liverpool, a neighbourhood mediation in Stockport, then our mediators at Northwest Mediation can help.

Mediation is cheaper, quicker and less stressful than running any case to court, it can help with any dispute whether it's an employment issue or the sale at an under value of a property, a fight with a neighbour, family issues (including child arrangements and finance on divorce), commercial disputes, civil mediation or inheritance, wills and probate arguments contact Northwest Mediation on 07931318347 or via email at

neighbour mediation; commercial dispute resolution; civil mediation; commercial dispute; corporate dispute; commercial mediator; family mediation; inheritance wills probate mediation; property mediator; civil mediator; civil litigation; fast track mediation; injury mediation

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