Friends of FMCS History

The history of negotiation, mediation and arbitration

FMCS Director McCoy Lost his Job to Joe Finnegan

President Eisenhower’s Secretary of Labor James Mitchell (1953–1961) had extensive experience in collective bargaining and labor relations. Early in WW II, Mitchell headed the labor relations division of the Army Construction Program, later he served as director of industrial personnel for the War Department, in charge of one million men. After World War II, he returned to the […]

Skunk Oil Communication by Major Estes

[1]While working at both USCS and FMCS, Major Charles Estes often emphasized the importance of communication in labor management relations. He frequently used his ‘Skunk Oil Story’ to illustrate the importance of quick and clear communication. Estes often used his Skunk Story in trainings and lectures. He told his story like this: While mediating a […]

Names and Descriptions of 120 Mediation Techniques

In the early 1950s, three young mediators[1] in Detroit took notes while nine seasoned mediators discussed cases at weekly informal mediator gatherings. By 1953, they had drafted their notes into a 54 page document titled: “The Federal Mediator: His Responsibilities, Functions and Techniques.”[2] They presented their document to their very surprised Regional Director, because mediators […]

Mediator Book Writers

Two outstanding FMCS mediators wrote books on mediation in 1971, and they both wrote second editions of their books in 1985 and 1986. In 1971, William E. Simkin wrote Mediation and the Dynamics of Collective Bargaining. Published by the Bureau of National Affairs, it included: 410 pages, 16 chapters, 6 appendixes, and an index. Simkin […]

The Foreman’s Guide To Labor Relations

The photos above are the pamphlet cover and table of contents of: The Foreman’s Guide to Labor Relations. Developed in 1944 by the U.S. Department of Labor for the use of United States Conciliation Service (USCS) staff Conciliators (mediators). Below find selected pages from that 30 page pamphlet for Conciliators to use in Labor-Management training […]

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