Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service Law and Legal Definition

The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) has primary responsibility is to mediate collective bargaining negotiations, and to otherwise assist in the development of improved workplace relations. It does not handle unfair labor practices or elections under the National Labor Relations Act, nor does it interpret or enforce any statutes or regulations governing notice requirements or labor relations.

In collective bargaining, dispute mediation is a voluntary process that occurs when a neutral third-party mediator assists the two sides in reaching agreement in contract negotiations. For over 50 years, Federal mediators have provided these services, including mediation of initial contract negotiations, which take place between a company and a newly-recognized union.

The National Labor Relations Act requires that employers or the representative of the employees who are covered by a collective bargaining agreement provide written notice to the other party 60 days prior to the expiration date of a proposed termination or modification of a collective bargaining agreement. The Act also calls for notice to be provided to FMCS.