About the Conference CLICK for details and to register!

The most important labor relations event of 2015 will take place at The Westin Convention Center in Pittsburgh, PA on May 28-31. LERA’s 67th Annual Meeting is expected to draw over 500 business and union practitioners, attorneys, arbitrators, facilitators, and mediators from the private and public sectors from across the United States and internationally. This major labor-management conference, brought to you in partnership with the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS), will feature speakers from labor, management, government, and academia. Attendees will hear what’s in store at the nation’s bargaining tables and gain insights into the best bargaining practices in today’s challenging labor-management climate.

To get a feel for our Annual Meeting, click HERE for this 8 page insert from last year's Perspectives on Work.

An Outstanding Line-up of Distinguished Speakers

Ron Bloom, A former Assistant to President Obama for Manufacturing Policy and current senior adviser to Lazard Frères & Co. whose work includes leading the Administration’s discussions with the auto industry. Leo Gerard, President of the United Steelworkers and VP of the AFL-CIO, Gerard focused the USW on strategic contract bargaining in paper, steel, rubber, while fighting unfair trade practices. James (Jimmy) Settles, Jr., Vice President of the United Auto Workers who has led negotiations with various entities, most recently with Ford Motor Company, using social media to help members have input and get information in a rapid manner. Bill Dirksen, VP Labor Affairs at Ford Motor Company, responsible for global labor policy and negotiations covering Ford’s 117,000 union employees and collective bargaining with unions worldwide.

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Events and Receptions

You are invited to join us for a host of special breakfasts, luncheon’s and receptions over the four day conference. You can expect breakfast each day. On the first day of the conference, please attend the National Policy Luncheon that will feature Ron Bloom. End the day at our Welcome Reception with hors d’ouerves and a cash bar. On day two, you will want to attend LERA’s Presidential Luncheon where the Lifetime Achievement Award will be announced.


The conference will feature more than 70 sessions including a special program track sponsored by the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS). Complete information can be found on the LERA website. Below is a sampling of the FMCS-sponsored panels; for complete program click HERE.

Special Programming By

Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services

FMCS Sponsored Panels, Thursday


How Technology and Labor Relations Might Work Together: Computers and Alternative Dispute Resolution

This workshop will utilize AdobeConnect, laptops, and projection screens to demonstrate an ADR case. FMCS mediators will conduct a mock ADR case and analyze how these technologies can be used as government travel budgets are tightening.

Edward (Ted) D. Bantle, FMCS
Jack Yoedt, FMCS


The New Generation of Alternative Bargaining Models: Enhancing Problem-Solving and Mitigating Adversarial Negotiations

The program will look at the evolution of traditional and interest-based bargaining into the offspring of Critical Issues Bargaining, Modified Traditional Bargaining, Enhanced Conventional Bargaining, and Compressed Bargaining. It will examine the people and process dynamics that make those alternative models viable and effective, and not so much. This is an interactive one person presentation that tackles issues with allotted time for audience participation and questions.

Richard A. Queer, FMCS
Michael Franczak, FMCS


What Happens on Facebook Stays in Pittsburgh: Social Media and the Workplace

As the use of social media such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs, and email has exploded, employers and employees face new challenges, both in and out of the workplace. This discussion will explore "Facebook Firings" and other discipline, and the impact of social media on concerted activity.


Lisa Hartrich, Public Employment Relations Commission

Michael Tedesco, The Tedesco Law Group


Turning Things Around: The Case Study of Elliott Turbine and the Steelworkers

The company, Elliott Turbine and the US Steelworkers worked with mediators in the Pittsburgh FMCS field office to deal with economic issues and get the company back on track. The company, once poised for closure, is now expanding its workforce as a result of a remarkable turnaround in labor-management relations that was sparked by a local union that did not want to die. Here's how they all did it . . .


John F. Pinto, FMCS

Jack Yoedt, FMCS


Labor Dispute Systems Design and Capacity Building Abroad: Challenges, Best Practices and Lessons Learned

This panel will focus on collective bargaining abroad--a look at models and training approaches--with key discussion lessons learned in Morocco, Haiti, Lesotho, Vietnam, China, Honduras, Taiwan, and other countries.


Eileen B. Hoffman, FMCS

Edward (Ted) Bantle, FMCS

Mary Kluczycki, FMCS
Jeffrey Wheeler, Esq., Washington, DC
Richard (Dick) Fincher, Workplace Resolutions, LLC

FMCS Sponsored Panel, Friday


Dealing with Complex EEO Issues and Workplace Complaints, from the Point of View of the Regulators, Mediators, and Parties

Discrimination complaints have been used to deal with unfair treatment as well as workplace issues. Mediators, regulators, and the parties, have learned from these challenges. This free-flowing discussion will feature EEOC mediation expert, FMCS mediator who conducted many EEO and workplace disputes, and union and management representatives.


Ramona Buck, FMCS, ADR Mediator

Victor Veloshin, US Equal Opportunity Employment Commission


FMCS Sponsored Panel, Saturday


How the Conveyance of Conflict Neuroscience Principles to Labor-Management Parties Enhances Self-awareness and Improves Outcomes: Content, Delivery, Case Studies and Best Practices

The intersection of neuroscience and labor-management relations has long been neglected; now it has a champion! "Why are they so irrational--what is wrong with them?!" This sentiment pervades our labor management processes. As avid lay readers and labor management professionals we can all benefit from research in neuroscience and human behavior and easily see these dynamics play out in our everyday work. We will walk through what the research can teach us as it relates to negotiations and conflict resolution and then address how this knowledge can improve our effectiveness. Finally, we will address how a mediator can assist the parties in dealing with these natural dynamics that we all face in the labor management arena.


Robert S. Ditillo, FMCS

Carolyn Brommer, FMCS


CLICK for details and to register!


Click HERE for postcard PDF to share with colleagues.



See this documentary film of how local governments, unions, and General Motors came together saving Lansing, MI. 

The one-hour film is followed by a one-hour question and answer period with the documentary director Ray Tadgerson and David Hollister, former mayor of Lansing, MI.

The special sneak preview is 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. Friday, May 29th and included with your registration.

Click to see what is the press saying about Second Shift.
Check out this trailer of Second Shift.


An additional fee is needed covering transportation, admission fees, and any additional amenities. A $20 charge is added on your registration fee.

Labor Relations in Pro Football Tour leaves Westin Friday at 12:15 p.m. returns 1:45 p.m.
30-45 minute session with Art Rooney or senior front office personnel from the Pittsburgh Steelers who can talk about the state of labor relations between the teams/league and the NFLPA and the leadership role the Steelers organization plays in labor-management relations in pro football.

Labor History in Pittsburgh leaves Westin at Friday 9:45 a.m. returns 2:15 p.m.
Pittsburgh has played a critical role in the history of the American labor movement and American employment relations. Several modern unions were founded in Pittsburgh, as was the American Federation of Labor. And a number of historic confrontations that shaped the relationship between labor and management took place in Pittsburgh, including the Rail Strike of 1877, the Homestead Strike/Lockout of 1892, and the 1919 Steel Strike. As a result, the history and culture of Pittsburgh reflects its working-class, blue collar roots, even as Pittsburgh has reinvented itself as a city driven by the technology, healthcare, and finance industries.

The Labor History Tour will travel to Homestead to visit the original Carnegie Steel Pump House, scene of the dramatic 1892 battle between Pinkerton agents. We will visit a few other historic sites in that community before traveling to the working class neighborhood of Millvale for a tour of the world famous Maxo Vanka Working Class Murals at St. Nicholas Croatian Catholic Church.

IBEW Joint Apprenticeship Training Center leaves Westin Friday at 12:15 p.m. returns 1:45 p.m.
The finest and most highly trained electrical workers in the country receive their training through local joint apprenticeship training committees utilizing the standardized education programs developed by the National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee for the Electrical Industry. Providing the highest level of training through the support of our partners.