Charlotte Pipe and Foundry Company is a 120-year-old, fifth-generation family-owned business—and it tries to treat its employees like family, too.
“We have a long tradition and history of taking care of our associates,” said Charlotte Pipe Vice President of Marketing Bradford Muller. “We haven’t had a layoff since the early 1980s. Even in the Great Recession, we kept people working as many hours as we could give them.”
When the 2017 tax reform law gave Charlotte Pipe more certainty, the company passed along the good fortune, supporting employees, adding new jobs and investing in the future of the business.
New bonuses: When the legislation passed, Charlotte Pipe gave every employee an additional bonus of $1,000. Over the past few years, it has continued to offer high wages and generous health benefits to its associates as well as contributing to the company’s 401(k) plan. Charlotte Pipe has also absorbed a large portion of the increases in the health care costs of its workers.
New jobs: Tax reform has also allowed Charlotte Pipe to bring on new workers. Since the law passed, the company has hired more than 200 associates as it increases production across the country.
New business: Charlotte Pipe is also investing in its future by building a new foundry, which will create new jobs in its surrounding community. In addition to making the company more efficient and effective, the new cutting-edge foundry will help it keep up with international competitors from places like China. Muller credits tax reform with making that investment possible.
- “The certainty around tax reform and regulatory reform gave us the confidence to be able to proceed with this once-in-a-century, $350 million foundry,” said Muller. “It’s a huge financial commitment, and we needed policy certainty to be able to do that. That was one of the reasons we were able to launch that project.”
Ongoing investment: The foundry may be the biggest example of a capital investment, but it is by no means the only one. In fact, Charlotte Pipe reinvests most of its profits back into the business, allowing it to keep working, innovating and providing new jobs.
- “We reinvest most of our profits into capital projects,” said Muller. “The more revenue we have, the more people we can hire, the more equipment we can buy and the more productive we can be.”
The last word: “When tax reform helps a business provide for its employees and create opportunity well into its second century, you know that reform is worth keeping,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “Manufacturers like Charlotte Pipe are building on the foundation of tax reform, and their workers are prospering because of it. That’s why we need to protect against potentially harmful tax hikes.”
Manufacturing businesses have long been proponents of equality in the workplace. As legislation to codify protections for LGBT individuals passes through the House of Representatives, the National Association of Manufacturers joined the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Business Roundtable, and other members of the business community in advocating its passage, forging coalitions and providing congressional testimony.
Introduced with bipartisan support in the U.S. House and Senate in March, the Equality Act includes federal protections for individuals based on sexual orientation and gender identity under the existing framework of the Civil Rights Act, which already provides protection against discrimination on the basis of religion, national origin, race, color or sex. The goal of the legislation is to ensure that no person can face legal discrimination based on their gender or sexual orientation, setting a clear federal standard to enable individuals to succeed based on their abilities and qualifications to perform a job.
“Employers understand the importance of creating an environment in which the very best people can succeed based on merit,” Patrick Hedren, NAM vice president, labor, legal and regulatory policy, said. “At the same time, manufacturers know that discrimination in any form is antithetical to the values that we work to uphold every day: equality of opportunity, individual liberty, free enterprise and competitiveness.”
In March, more than 40 other industry associations rallied to support the Equality Act, providing an important boost for the groundbreaking legislation. In the weeks since, manufacturing representatives have testified before the House Education and Labor Committee and signed a coalition letter to the House Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Human Services calling for the Act’s passage. As Congress considers the way forward, manufacturers have made clear that they intend to advocate forcefully on behalf of the legislation and uphold their commitment to workers of every gender identity and sexual orientation.
“The Equality Act creates a clear federal standard that matches the sentiments manufacturers already share: gender identity and sexual orientation have no impact on an employee’s abilities and discrimination is not welcome on the manufacturing floor,” Hedren said. “We look forward to working with Congress as this important legislation moves ahead.”
Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement after the Department of Labor (DOL) rescinded the 2016 Persuader Rule:
Manufacturers have fought for this victory for many years in the courts, in Congress and with two administrations, using the full weight of our policy, government relations and legal teams, said Timmons. The NAM’s Manufacturers’ Center for Legal Action was able to halt the rule in court in 2016.And in 2017, the Trump administration, as part of its broader regulatory relief agenda, thankfully began the process of unwinding the rule. This overreaching rule threatened to impose serious burdens on manufacturers and upend employee–employer communications. Now manufacturers are relieved that this threat to workplace communications is finally and officially off the books. Commonsense steps like this to rein in onerous regulations are a major reason why manufacturers are reporting record-high business optimism.
The Manufacturers’ Center for Legal Action (MCLA) is the leading voice of manufacturers in the courts and engages in a range of activities, including direct party litigation and operating a robust amicus program, as well as educating manufacturers about emerging legal trends. The MCLA is led by NAM Senior Vice President and General Counsel Linda Kelly and NAM Vice President of Litigation and Deputy General Counsel Peter Tolsdorf. More information on the MCLA can be found here.
The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs more than 12 million men and women, contributes $2.25 trillion to the U.S. economy annually, has the largest economic impact of any major sector and accounts for more than three-quarters of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the Manufacturers or to follow us on Shopfloor, Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.