Some Things Just Don’t Improve With Time

Some things like wine or scotch improve with time. Bad regulations though, do not. In fact, if anything, more time just makes it clear how unreasonable some ideas really are. (continue reading…)

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Manufacturing Compensation Increased 2.4 Percent in 2014

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) said that employer costs rose 0.7 percent in the fourth quarter, extending the 0.6 percent gain in the third quarter. Wages and salaries in the sector were up 0.7 percent in the fourth quarter, and benefits increased by 0.8 percent. On a year-over-year basis, manufacturing workers earned 2.4 percent more in 2014, up from 1.8 percent in 2013. This was the fastest pace of compensation growth for manufacturers in three years.  In 2014, wages and salaries and benefits costs increased 2.3 percent and 2.8 percent, respectively. (continue reading…)

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The U.S. Economy Grew 2.6 Percent in the Fourth Quarter, or 2.4 Percent for 2014 as a Whole

The Bureau of Economic Analysis said that the U.S. economy grew 2.6 percent in the fourth quarter, somewhat slower than the consensus estimate of around 3 percent. This was down from the 4.6 percent and 5.0 percent growth rates experienced in the second and third quarters, respectively, and for 2014 as a whole, real gross domestic product (GDP) rose 2.4 percent. The annual figure was not too far from the 2.2 percent pace observed in 2013, but that somewhat understates the strength of the economy since the weather-related weaknesses of the first quarter. Indeed, real GDP grew an annualized 4.1 percent over the last three quarters of 2014.   (continue reading…)

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NAM Files Brief to Overturn NLRB Decision on Technical Refusal to Bargain

In the wake of the 2011 Specialty Healthcare decision by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the country has seen a proliferation of so-called “micro-units” instead of the traditional “wall-to-wall” bargaining units. The change in the test for determining the appropriate size of a bargaining unit has led to the creation of these smaller micro-units even when every other factor, especially common sense, points in the opposite direction. (continue reading…)

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NAM Asks CFTC Not to Regulate Supply Contracts as Swaps

Manufacturers by nature assemble and build goods day in and day out. Creating all of these products requires a tremendous amount of supplies, which are often delivered as a result of a supply contract between two parties. Sounds simple enough, right?  (continue reading…)

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Supreme Court to Hear Case on Challenges on Investment Decisions

The Supreme Court recently granted cert in Tibble v. Edison Int’l to decide whether plan participants can challenge investment decisions by plan fiduciaries made more than six years before the suit was filed, if the decisions could have been reconsidered during the six-year window. A ruling by the Court in this case could have a significant impact on plan fiduciaries by addressing the nature of a separate duty to reconsider past decisions and whether a theory of “continuing violation” can be used to evade ERISA’s limitations period. (continue reading…)

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MCLA Amicus Argues a Balanced Consideration of Costs and Benefits for EPA

If U.S. manufacturers had no costs from complying with federal, state and local regulations, they would have a significant advantage over competitors that have such costs. Wouldn’t that be nice? Obviously, compliance costs are an important factor in many business decisions, and the greater the costs, the harder it is for manufacturers to produce and to compete. (continue reading…)

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Offshore Drilling Plan Misses the Mark

Today the Department of Interior (DOI) released their “Draft Strategy for Offshore Oil and Gas Leasing.” The draft proposal, developed by DOI’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is the administration’s blueprint for offshore oil and gas leasing for the years 2017-2022. This plan will not only determine what areas will or will not be available for leasing for the next 8 years, but also will effect American energy production long after this Administration leaves office. (continue reading…)

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FTC Report on Internet of Things Released Today

Staff of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released a report today entitled: Internet of Things: Privacy and Security in a Connected World. This report is based on an Internet of Things (IoT) workshop hosted by the FTC in November of 2013 and includes recommendations on how to protect consumers as this emerging technology continues to develop. (continue reading…)

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NAM Calls for an Extension of Pension Nondiscrimination Testing Relief

The NAM has blogged previously on the need for relief from an issue that may cause manufacturers to completely close their defined benefit pension plans before they, or the participants in the plan, are ready. While the IRS granted temporary relief from this pension nondiscrimination testing problem, the NAM is urging the agency to grant a much needed extension before the relief runs out this year. (continue reading…)

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