Tag

Regulations

The Other Side of the Story That You Didn’t Hear

By | Environment, Shopfloor Main, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

I was struck by the New York Times article on Scott Pruitt, the nominee to be EPA Administrator, and the settlement of a long-simmering Arkansas poultry runoff case. I encourage you to take a look at a very different side of the story and its impact here.

It’s fascinating to see the nature of the criticism being leveled against Mr. Pruitt by environmental groups, former EPA administrators and other opponents – and here’s why: he doesn’t view EPA’s role, and his potential role as administrator, the same way they do. He’s different. And they don’t like it.

But shouldn’t he be different? Shouldn’t he represent change from the status quo? Voters just elected Donald Trump president in large part because he pledged to be a disruptor, to dramatically change the way the federal government interacts with, well, everyone. EPA is no exception. Read More

Manufacturers Say Get the Turnaround Started at the Labor Department: Confirm President-Elect Trump’s Nominee

By | Regulations, Shopfloor Main, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

Manufacturers can’t wait for Inauguration Day. Like the first hours of New Year’s Day and baseball’s Opening Day, anything feels possible. And when you’ve been battling eight years of volatility and policy uncertainty in the rules governing the workplace, a new way forward is exactly what we need—to help American workers and families with more jobs and higher pay.

A recent National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) study calculated the cost of recent labor regulations to the economy to be $85 billion, more than 400 million hours of paperwork and up to 155,000 jobs lost over the next 10 years. That’s more jobs lost than the entire populations of Green Bay and La Crosse, Wis., combined.

The right type of change starts with a confirmation vote—to get the U.S. Labor Department working smarter and functioning at the level Americans expect and deserve. The Senate should move swiftly to confirm President-elect Donald Trump’s choice for labor secretary, Andrew Puzder. The president-elect was wise to choose the leader who turned around Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr., saving not only brick-and-mortar businesses but also jobs that jumpstart better lives. There’s no reason to delay another turnaround—at the Labor Department—that needs to start on day one.

How bad has it been? Here are some of the worst-offending policies:

  • President Obama’s Labor Department has hindered the ability of employers, particularly smaller-sized firms, to seek advice on how to comply with labor laws, which can harm manufacturing workers, as much as their employers.
  • The administration tried to more than double the minimum salary threshold for employees exempted from overtime pay and add a costly automatic increase provision. Small and rural businesses were hit especially hard by the change—and the rule failed to account for the varied types of work done by affected employees and the increasing need for flexible work arrangements.
  • They’ve prevented employers from incentivizing safe workplace practices.
  • And they’ve tried to turn back the clock on labor law, refusing to allow modernizations to take place that best fit the modern workplace.

It’s time for more balance: a labor policy that can achieve both a positive work environment and create new job openings in manufacturing and in other sectors for all Americans. It’s the type of labor policy we lay out in the NAM’s new “Competing to Win” blueprint on labor policy and the agenda we’re confident President-elect Trump and Andrew Puzder can get working on right away—if senators act in manufacturing’s and the people’s interest.

Manufacturers’ Prescription for Health Care

By | Health Care, Shopfloor Main, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

After the economy and jobs, Americans rate health care as their top public policy concern. And the majority of Americans (54 percent) disapprove of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), according to the Pew Research Center.

No one understands the frustrations of our health care system quite like manufacturers. In the National Association of Manufacturers most recent Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey, rising health care and insurance costs ranked as a top business challenge among NAM members (74.8 percent), slightly ahead of an unfavorable business climate (73.6 percent). There are a host of factors that lead to this frustration, and many feel trapped in a problem that is of the government’s making.

Americans deserve better than this. We are a nation that prides itself on first-class, best-in-the-world medical care. Our institutions, public and private, continue to lead the world on patient care, lifesaving treatments and medical research. But we have to keep working to control or lower the cost of coverage through reasonable approaches.

So manufacturers, through our “Competing to Win” agenda and health care policy blueprint, are calling on the next Congress and administration to find solutions that will successfully eliminate the costliest and most problematic aspects of the ACA:

  • The 40 percent tax on employee benefits and other mandated taxes
  • Onerous administrative requirements
  • Upward pressure on medical liability costs

Manufacturers also believe reform should have some key goals:

  • Encourage flexibility and data sharing
  • Allow for new innovations in coverage options rather than locking in one model
  • Provide consumers more information to make better choices

Manufacturers recognize that providing health care coverage is a necessity to remain competitive in attracting talent and maintaining a healthy, stable workforce. It’s what is right for employees.

Ninety-eight percent of manufacturers offer health insurance to employees, and when asked about how they might react to increasing costs for offering health care in an NAM survey of members, only 1.6 percent planned to stop providing coverage.

Without action from our leaders, manufacturers have innovated with their own solutions to improve health care:

  • Opting for new plans and payment arrangements
  • Bringing medical care, pharmacy services and wellness programs on-site or near-site
  • Focusing on addressing chronic conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity and asthma

If President-elect Donald Trump and the next Congress follow manufacturers’ lead, our people and our economy will be healthier for it.

This blog is part of the NAM’s 12 Days of Transition series, an effort to provide the presidential transition team and other Washington policymakers with a roadmap to bolster manufacturing in the United States. Read the other blogs in the series here.

Make Regulations and Our Legal System Great Again

By | Regulations, Shopfloor Main, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

Regulatory and legal reform are key components of our “Competing to Win” agenda, and with a new Congress and new president taking office next month, we are proposing detailed solutions to create a smarter and efficient system of governance and eliminate government-imposed barriers to economic growth and job creation.

President-elect Donald Trump has asserted that regulatory reform is a “cornerstone of the Trump administration” and that his team will be “committed to regulatory reform that will produce sensible regulations that allow America to be great.” This is music to manufacturers’ ears.

Manufacturers Face an Immense Regulatory Burden

  • In constant 2009 dollars, federal spending for regulatory agencies tripled from $16.46 billion ($72.44 per person) in 1980 to $50.09 billion ($155.84 per person) in 2015.
  • Through October 2016, the current administration has issued 637 major new regulations, translating to a new major regulation once every 4.46 days.
  • These regulations are placed on top of the thousands of requirements with which manufacturers must already comply, and regulators make no effort to repeal or modify duplicative or unnecessary requirements that exist.

Reforming Our Regulatory System Equals Jobs

  • Regulatory decisions must focus on outcomes to improve the quality of regulations: Agencies should be forced to thoughtfully examine existing regulations and their cumulative costs to improve the effectiveness of existing and new rules. Importantly, sound regulatory analysis should be strengthened and codified so that regulatory decisions are based on the best available science.
  • Regulators must be held accountable with improved oversight to improve the quality of the regulations they issue. Independent regulatory agencies should comply with universally accepted sound regulatory principles, and Congress should improve its oversight of all regulating agencies.
  • Fairness should be restored to our legal system so that manufacturers and individuals in need of relief do not fall victim to opportunism. There should be clear standards for liability, and disincentives for filing frivolous lawsuits should be reinstated.

We are urging President-elect Trump and our leaders in the government to listen to manufacturers and follow our roadmap to expanding our economy and reforming our system of governance. Regulatory and legal reform alone could dramatically improve companies’ ability to grow in America. We should not miss this opportunity.

This blog is part of the NAM’s 12 Days of Transition series, an effort to provide the presidential transition team and other Washington policymakers with a roadmap to bolster manufacturing in the United States. Read the other blogs in the series here.

Reforming Labor Regulations to Improve Job Opportunities

By | Shopfloor Main, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

This level of volatility and policy uncertainty harms manufacturers and their employees who cannot rely on past reasonable interpretations of the law when planning to invest in new workers. Instead, issues that were thought to be previously settled have been up for grabs.

A recent National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) study calculated the cost of recent labor regulations to the economy:

  • $85 billion
  • More than 400 million hours of paperwork
  • Up to 155,000 jobs over the next 10 years

America faces a severe shortage of skilled workers to meet the current demand and projected future demand in manufacturing.

Unfortunately, labor policies from the Obama administration have made it harder to maintain and grow a flexible workforce to handle today’s manufacturing challenges. We need policies that support flexibility and innovation.

Elections do have consequences, and change may be on the horizon. Unfortunately, the degree to which the Obama administration has overturned longstanding labor law precedent is unlike anything we’ve ever seen.

To restore balance, the next administration should do the following:

  • Repeal unnecessarily costly rules that hamper job creation.
  • Appoint National Labor Relations Board members committed to the rule of law and fair treatment of employees and employers, who will rescind ill-informed rules and adjudications.
  • Take a new approach to encouraging good policies in the workplace, rather than attempting to “shame” companies.

The specifics are all laid out in the NAM’s new “Competing to Win” blueprint on labor policy, which we have shared directly with President-elect Donald Trump’s team.

Labor policy needs to adapt to modern workforce needs, rather than turn the clock back. The past eight years have taken us backward by well-established laws without any justification.

Employees, organized labor, management and lawmakers should collaborate in search of outcomes that deliver a positive work environment, opportunities for employee professional growth and safe and healthy facilities.

This blog is part of the NAM’s 12 Days of Transition series, an effort to provide the presidential transition team and other Washington policymakers with a roadmap to bolster manufacturing in the United States. Read the other blogs in the series here.

Vice President–Elect Mike Pence Meets with Manufacturing Leaders at NAM Headquarters

By | Communications, Shopfloor Main | No Comments
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Vice President-elect Mike Pence speaks to the National Association of Manufacturers’ (NAM) Executive Committee. From left: Tenneco Chairman and CEO and NAM Board Chair Gregg Sherrill, Pence and NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. Photo by David Bohrer/NAM

 

 

Vice Presidentelect Mike Pence met with the members of the NAM’s Executive Committee, a group of the country’s most influential manufacturing leaders, at the NAM’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., today.

They had a wide-ranging and robust conversation about the policies needed to create jobs and support working families by growing manufacturing in the United States. They discussed the need to work together to deliver tax reform, make necessary investments in our infrastructure, address regulatory burdens, rethink how regulations are developed, rein in health care costs and unleash our energy resource.

The vice presidentelect asked the NAM to help their administration prioritize which regulations should be reviewed for possible repeal that will best help support and grow manufacturing jobs in America. Manufacturers also communicated to the vice presidentelect their appreciation of the president-elect’s willingness and commitment to constructively engage with manufacturing leaders and support manufacturing to create jobs and a better business climate in the United States.

 

#SmallBizSaturday: Help Family-Owned Manufacturers Succeed

By | Shopfloor Main, Shopfloor Policy, Taxation | No Comments

Coming on the heels of Thanksgiving and “Black Friday,” Small Business Saturday is a perfect opportunity for Americans to pause and contemplate the critical role small businesses play in our nation’s economy. Many small businesses are family owned and are responsible for 62 percent of the country’s employment and $5.9 trillion of the nation’s GDP. Often with deep roots, these family-owned businesses play critical roles in the philanthropic and economic heart of local communities. Read More

Manufacturers Applaud Delay on Overtime Rule

By | Communications, Manufacturers’ Center for Legal Action, Shopfloor Legal | No Comments

National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) Senior Vice President and General Counsel Linda Kelly issued the following statement after a federal judge temporarily halted the Obama administration’s final overtime regulation:

“The Manufacturers’ Center for Legal Action is the last line of defense from unreasonable regulations that harm not just job growth but also manufacturers’ ability to stay in business. Today’s decision is an important win for all manufacturers in America—halting what would have been a dramatic and devastating change in labor law that manufacturers could not afford. The rule would have vastly expanded the number of employees that would be eligible for overtime. The decision brings us a step closer to curbing regulations that have resulted in $80 billion in compliance costs and more than 25 million hours of paperwork.

“In the days and weeks ahead, the NAM looks forward to working with the Trump administration and the 115th Congress to right a regulatory and legal system that has pummeled the manufacturing industry in America. The fights are not yet over—and our work is just beginning.”

The Manufacturers’ Center for Legal Action (MCLA) serves as the leading voice of manufacturers in the courts, representing the more than 12 million men and women who make things in the United States. The MCLA strategically engages in litigation as a direct party, intervenes in litigation important to manufacturers and weighs in as amicus curiae on important cases.

Manufacturers and their employees share a mutual goal of a safe, communicative and productive workplace, and good policy from Washington is part of the solution. To learn more, visit our website.

NAM Continues Fight Against OSHA’s New Silica Rule

By | Shopfloor Legal | No Comments

On May 2, 2016, the National Association of Manufacturers joined with the American Foundry Society to challenge the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) new crystalline silica rule, which cuts the current permissible exposure limit in half and requires employers to implement costly engineering controls. The rule attempts to limit exposure to silica-containing materials, such as concrete and stone, in industries like brick manufacturing, foundries and hydraulic fracturing. We are fighting this rule on all fronts by both petitioning for review of the final rule and intervening to address the union filings directly. Last week, on November 11, we filed our joint industry opening brief to oppose this rule, which will severely stunt the economy and burden manufacturers. Read More