United Airlines CEO Oscar Muñoz Follows Restorative Justice Script
Hal Pepinsky, firstname.lastname@example.org, “peacemaking” at pepinsky.blogspot.com
April 13, 2017
Just as I’ve been writing and reflecting on the process of victim-offender reconciliation as described and experienced in mediation, I heard a major corporate CEO follow the script mediators aspire to have offenders follow. It is the incident of a paid and booked Vietnamese-American being wrestled out of his seat and off the plane to make way for an airline crew.
What crucial stages does the offender go through? First, s/he apologizes directly to the victims and their families. Then, having heard and acknowledged the harm done, s/he makes amends. Yesterday in media interviews, in an NPR interview, I heard United Airlines Oscar Muñoz literally do that, first saying, “I’m ashamed,” then apologizing to the victim and his family in particular and customers generally, and offered cash “amends” to those affected, promising that no such incident would ever happen again (http://www.wbur.org/npr/523668043/united-scrambles-to-recover-from-ousted-passenger-fiasco). Somewhere, somehow, Mr. Muñoz has learned the textbook elements of mediation. It’s worth noting that a private-sector for-profit corporate chief executive believes that accepting responsibility and making amends for harms one does, pays. Love and peace, hal