WASHINGTON, Nov. 23, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- FMCS Director Allison Beck issued the following statement today on the announcement of a new contract between the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and the American Federation of Musicians, Local 60-471: "For music lovers in Pittsburgh and around the world, the agreement between the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and its world class musicians is welcome news. These were extremely difficult negotiations, and I commend the musicians and orchestra management for their perseverance and their commitment to the collective bargaining process," Director Beck said. "We are especially pleased that the Orchestra's remaining performance season will be restored, that a European concert tour will now go forward, and that one of America's top-tier symphonies will be thrilling audiences again. Labor conflicts related to the financial stresses that some orchestras, operas, and performing arts institutions are facing have prompted a program of special training for FMCS mediators across the country. "At FMCS, our goal is to ensure that our skilled, professional mediators are armed with the most current knowledge, information, and innovative solutions in these often difficult disputes," Director Beck said. Director Beck also praised the efforts of FMCS Commissioners Richard Giacolone and Jack Yoedt, who together oversaw the orchestra negotiations in Pittsburgh. "They deserve enormous credit for their efforts in helping the parties reach a mutually acceptable agreement. They put in many long hours and worked diligently to find creative approaches to help the parties resolve the issues that divided them." In accordance with FMCS practice and consistent with the requirements of mediator confidentiality, FMCS will have no further comment on the details of the agreement or the substance of the negotiations. The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, created in 1947, is an independent U.S. government agency whose mission is to preserve and promote labor-management peace and cooperation. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 10 regional offices and more than 60 field offices, the agency provides mediation and conflict resolution services to industry, government agencies and communities.