All Posts By

Joe Trauger

PORTS Act – A Thoughtful Approach

By | Infrastructure | No Comments

Today, Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) introduced the “Protecting Orderly and Responsible Transit of Shipments” (PORTS) Act, which creates an option to avoid economic disruption demonstrated by recent events on the West Coast. The NAM applauds Senator Gardner for introducing this bill which give state governors the option to intervene in labor disputes at seaports to prevent disruptions. Read More

IPAB Needs to Go

By | General | No Comments

Today the House Ways and Means Committee will be considering legislation to eliminate the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) created as part of the Affordable Care Act. The intention behind IPAB was to form an independent body appointed by the Administration to recommend spending reductions in the Medicare program if expenditures reach a level determined to be too high as defined by the ACA. If for some reason the IPAB has not been convened or its members not appointed, the Secretary of Health and Human Services steps in to serve the role of making recommendations to Congress for an up or down vote – without amendment. Read More

Still Searching for the Contracting Problem

By | General | No Comments

In a statement released by the NAM in response to the recent announcement of proposed regulations and guidance to implement the so-called Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order, I said they were a solution in search of a problem. There has been scant justification for the recent efforts of the administration and their allies to inject political subjectivity into what should be a clinical judgment about the ability of a contractor to fill an order on-time and on-budget. In what appears to be the best argument for creating an entirely new process and giving authority to political appointees to exclude businesses from federal contracting for political reasons, a blog post was put out Wednesday by the White House. Read More

Blacklisting Regulations Proposed

By | Human Resources | No Comments

Today, the Department of Labor and the Federal Acquisition Regulation Council announced the proposed regulations to implement President Obama’s “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Order.” The proposed regulations are the culmination of nearly a year’s work by the agencies in drafting what are perhaps the most politically motivated changes to the federal procurement process in decades. The last attempt to inject such partisan politics into procurement happened at the end of the Clinton Administration in 1999 and 2000. Those regulations were rolled back in 2001. Back then it was called “High-Road Contracting,” but the intent was the same. Read More

Lower Cost, More Options and Better Information Top Healthcare Concerns

By | Health Care | No Comments

A new survey released by the Kaiser Family Foundation was aimed at trying to get past the political wrangling over the various provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and see what the public is generally and genuinely concerned about when it comes to healthcare. The results very closely resemble the concerns of manufacturers around the country and hit upon the three main points the National Association of Manufacturers are focused on. Namely, lowering the cost of care, increasing options for coverage, and better information to make better decisions. Read More

The Ambush-Specialty Ambush

By | Labor Unions | No Comments

If anyone had a question about how the National Labor Relations Board decision on Specialty Healthcare and the recent implementation of the Ambush Election regulation would play out, we got an answer today. Today the NLRB released a decision on four cases involving Nestle Waters. The company has gone from having no petitions filed on April 13, to four petitions in four facilities filed in California on April 15. The petitioned bargaining units were contested to the Regional Director and ruled on today, May 5th. The elections in each of the four petitioned units will occur on Friday – this Friday, May 8th, just three weeks after the employer received the petitions. Read More

Another Sign of Our Broken Immigration System

By | Immigration, immigration reform | No Comments

With only four working days since the H-1B application process opened on  April 1,  the number of applications for H-1B visas has already far exceeded the annual visas limitations. On Tuesday April 7, USCIS stated they are no longer accepting applications and  “Due to the high number of petitions, USCIS is not yet able to announce the date on which it will conduct the random selection process.” Which means they received so many that they are still counting them. The limit is  – again –  exceeded before one week had passed. Read More

H-1B Filing Deadline is no Joke

By | Immigration, immigration reform | No Comments

Today is the day that – every year –  employers can begin to file applications for H-1B visas. Today is also the day that – every year – enough applications will be filed to exceed that cap; applications filed will likely more than double the 85,000 annual limit to H-1Bs issues each year, clearly proving this is an arbitrary number that is completely unresponsive to employer demand.

In a recent study by the Manufacturing Institute 66 percent of manufacturing executives said that when looking for engineers, researcher and scientists “finding candidates to enter the initial screening process” was by far the largest challenge they faced – more than “Offering compensation that appeals to qualified applicants” or “Making position requirements appeal to qualified talent.” Meaning that it is easier to create a positive work environment and provide a competitive salary, than it is to actually find someone to apply at all. Read More

Lesser-Skilled Workers are an Essential Part of Immigration Reform

By | Human Resources, Immigration, immigration reform | No Comments

Improving border security is an essential part of immigration reform for the United States. Our current system incentivizes illegal immigrants to remain in the U.S. while providing few opportunities for them to engage in the legal immigration system. As a matter of national security we need to know who is coming into our country and if they pose a threat. Creating a truly functional immigration program for lesser-skilled workers is the most effective way to achieve this important goal. We need to take away the incentive to come to and stay in the United States illegally and the best way to do that is to create a legal framework to manage it. By creating a legal system, we can be assured we know exactly who is here as well as allow temporary workers to return to their native country instead of being forced to live in the shadows for years on end. Under the current system, or lack of one, workers are incentivized to obtain false documents and unable to return home for fear that they will not be able to get back to in the US. Read More

A Fight Worth Having

By | Human Resources, Manufacturers’ Center for Legal Action | No Comments

Unless or until it’s stopped, the National Labor Relations Board regulation that denies employees time to consider whether to join a union by putting union elections on an inappropriately fast track will go into effect on April 14th. This is troubling to manufacturers because there is scant evidence anywhere that the union election process needs to be sped up at all and the regulation would force employers to turn over closely guarded personal information such as an employee’s cell phone number and work schedule. Read More