Friends of FMCS History

The history of negotiation, mediation and arbitration

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 […]

A Mediator Code of Ethics

The FMCS has mediators work throughout the U.S.  A number of States have their own mediation agencies that provide mediation within that state. For years, these state mediation agencies and FMCS have worked cooperatively as members of the Association of Labor Mediation Agencies (ALMA). Canadian National and Provincial mediation agencies are also ALMA members. ALMA […]

Humorous Items Promoting FMCS

The items pictured here were used to promote mediation and FMCS.  They are: A Match Book with these words: “Call FMCS Before Striking”.  A Ball point pen with a flash light with these words: “FMCS: Lighting the Way.” A Badge with these words and image: “I (heart) Mediation” An individual Mint in a white package […]

William (Bill) Simkin: Longest Servicing FMCS Director (1961 to 1969)

Bill Simkin majored in economics while attending the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School in 1937. He would later report having the good fortune of developed a relationship with Professor George W. Taylor, a famous labor-management arbitrator and in the view of scholars “the father of grievance arbitration.” Simkin became Taylor’s assistant in his mediation and […]

Return Mediator Role to the Labor Department from FMCS

Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service Seal

The Taft-Hartley Act of 1947 removed labor-management mediation from the Department of Labor (DoL) and placed it in the newly created Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS). Not everyone favored the new arrangement. Labor Secretary Lewis Schwellerbach urged Congress to return the mediation function to DoL. In Congressional testimony, the first FMCS Director Cyrus Ching […]

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