[Excerpt] This past August, FMCS’ 13th National Labor-Management Conference brought more than 1,500 people representing labor and management interests together in Chicago. In addition to providing 60-plus workshops over three days, FMCS gave attendees the opportunity to hear the thoughts of some of today’s most important players in labor-management relations, including Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao, AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Richard Trumka, UNITE/HERE Hospitality Industry President John Wilhelm, NLRB General Counsel Ronald Meisburg, and The Permanente Company President and CEO Francis Crosson. The success of our conference illustrates precisely what FMCS does best: providing opportunities for labor and management to come together and discuss their common issues.
With the rapid rise of global free trade and the impending retirement of the baby boomer generation, resolving issues such as health care and pension benefits can strain existing employer and union relationships. For U.S. companies, succeeding in the global economy requires, among other things, a flexible and cost-effective labor force. Yet, higher benefit costs place significant economic burdens on employers and employees alike. Helping employers and unions avoid economically disruptive work stoppages arising from these and other issues constitutes the core work and focus of FMCS.