[Excerpt] In this first decade of the 21st century, the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) is positioned to play a key role in historic changes affecting our workplaces and our economy. With economic globalization has come the need for a flexible, mobile workforce. Free trade has engendered a new set of international competitors for U.S. companies. Health care and pension costs continue to rise, placing a significant economic burden on employers and employees. This year, the labor movement faced its own internal turmoil when the Service Employees International Union, the United Food and Commercial Workers, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, and Laborers’ International Union of North America disaffiliated from the AFL-CIO.