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This site is the inspiration of a former reporter/photographer for one of New England's largest daily newspapers and for various magazines. The intent is to direct readers to interesting political articles, and we urge you to visit the source sites. Any comments may be noted on site or directed to KarisChaf at gmail.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

EXography: Globe-trotting honchos spend big on FMCS' dime -- FMCS Honchos' Excellent Adventure: Hover over a flight path for details -- By Luke Rosiak, The Washington Examiner

Odds are good that wherever the words "labor" or "arbitration" are mentioned at meetings around the world, somebody from the U.S. Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service will be there.

When there was a "dispute resolution workshop" in Turin, Italy, in February 2012, for example, FMCS deputy director Allison Beck was there, at a cost of $2,037.

The Turin visit was just one of many official trips taken by Beck, the second-ranking leader of an obscure 220-person agency that became the focus of a congressional investigation last year following the Washington Examiner's reporting of massive evidence of corrupt contracting and widespread personnel abuses.

Beck was back in Europe in June 2012 for an American Bar Association meeting in Paris. The ABA reimbursed FMCS $1,000 "towards cost of attendance at this conference under terms of ABA Development Fund fellowship."

But the trip cost $5,570.

From Paris, Beck took the train to Geneva, riding first class in order "to be able to get work done," according to her expense report.

She went to Geneva to meet the "new director of social dialogue section" of the International Labor Organization, a United Nations agency designed “to promote rights at work, encourage decent employment opportunities, [and] enhance social protection.”

In addition, Beck was to lecture the Swiss on "FMCS LM relations and conflict resolution training programs," and to do something that apparently could only be done by traveling to Europe: use video conferencing to discuss "joint training projects," the expense report said.

As it was with Beck's Italy trip, the purpose of the Paris excursion was “staff development,” according to the form.

John Arnold, an FMCS spokesman, said staff development activities are funded by fees FMCS charges companies and unions, and that it sometimes was reimbursed at least partially by groups like the ILO.

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