Stephen Colbert, Ambassador Andrew Young, and How to Negotiate the End of the WGA Strike

I was catching up on my taped Colbert Report shows over the weekend and saw a brilliant interview with Ambassador Andrew Young from earlier in January.  It turns out that Andrew Young negotiated with Stephen Colbert’s father to settle a strike in South Carolina over 40 years ago.  Black nurses at one of South Carolina’s big hospitals discovered that they were being paid less than white nurses and went on strike for over 100 days in order to get equal pay.  The nurses were supported by the black community and, on behalf of the nurses, Andrew Young went to South Carolina to help negotiate to end the strike.  As Ambassador Young describes, the hospital president swore at him but, luckily, handed Young off to the new vice-president of the hospital–Stephen Colbert’s father.  In this wonderful segment, Young describes how the strike was settled with neither Young nor Colbert receiving any credit and how secrecy & modesty may well be the key to settling most strikes.  It is actually an excellent discussion of the negotiating strategy needed to resolve these types of high profile disputes.  As a little bonus gem, in a true moment of hilarity, Colbert leads Ambassador Young, writer Malcolm Gladwell, and the whole audience in a round of “Let My People Go” in honor of his striking writers.

2 thoughts on “Stephen Colbert, Ambassador Andrew Young, and How to Negotiate the End of the WGA Strike”

  1. I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you.

    Peter Quinn

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