WASHINGTON, DC – Following the announcement of a tentative agreement on Aug. 1 in talks between the State of Alaska and the Inlandboatmen’s Union (IBU), the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) commended the parties on their compromise which effectively ended a work stoppage that began on July 24.

Seattle-based FMCS Commissioner and Regional Director Beth Schindler mediated the talks between the parties and helped to facilitate their achievement in reaching a successor collective bargaining agreement.

“The parties worked around the clock in mediated negotiations over the last week to reach this settlement.  It’s my privilege to help both sides work through challenges resolving their disputes in order to come away with a new contract,” said Schindler. “At the end of the day, that’s why we do what we do, help manage conflict and get people talking.”

FMCS Director Nominee Richard Giacolone issued the following statement on today’s announcement: “We recognize and commend the hard work and perseverance of the State of Alaska and the IBU.  It’s laudable that the parties were willing to narrow their differences and reach a resolution that addressed the interests of both sides. Our goal at FMCS in negotiations like this is to help bridge the divide between labor and management, helping workers get back to their jobs and service to continue. We stand ready to help the parties with continued and improved labor-management relations as the best means for assuring future uninterrupted ferry service.”