Labor & Employment

To keep manufacturing an engine of the economy, we need labor policies that support flexibility and innovation.

Press Releases

Manufacturers: America Is Still Living in Crisis, Action Is Needed

Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement on the American Rescue Plan.

“Manufacturers have witnessed the health and economic devastation that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to too many families across our country. The American people have endured immense pain and uncertainty for a year now, and we have more difficult months ahead. Too many people continue to need help with the basics—housing, food and financial stability. So as Congress continues to consider relief and support for these families, we urge lawmakers to take a bipartisan approach that ensures resources are targeted in the most effective way to have the most powerful impact. The vaccines developed by innovative pharmaceutical manufacturers will help bring an end to this pandemic, so we urge all lawmakers to support vital resources to deploy more vaccines as quickly as possible and arm Americans against COVID-19.

“America is still living through a crisis, and crisis demands action. Manufacturers believe the best course is one that is focused on providing the relief Americans need and one that achieves broad support.”

-NAM-

The National Association of Manufacturers 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 12.3 million men and women, contributes $2.32 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and has the largest economic multiplier of any major sector and accounts for 63% 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 NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

Policy and Legal

NAM Pushes Back on PRO Act

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The NAM is speaking out against H.R. 842/S. 420, the Protecting the Right to Organize Act.

Impacting workers: The bill would remove the right to a secret ballot in union elections, allow unions to access personal employee information in union-organizing drives, prevent workers from working as independent contractors and force workers to pay union dues even if they do not support the union.

Impacting businesses: The bill would also increase liability and penalties, threaten supply chains and create an adverse relationship between employers and employees—while also making it harder for businesses to access legal counsel.

Our take: “The PRO Act is a misguided attempt to fundamentally restructure American workplaces and would infringe on workers’ rights to a secret ballot, workplace democracy and personal privacy,” said NAM Vice President of Infrastructure, Innovation and Human Resources Policy Robyn Boerstling in a letter to Congress.

  • “This bill is being considered during an unprecedented global pandemic, in which manufacturing workers are supplying Americans with the medicine, protective equipment and goods necessary to defeat COVID-19… It is critical that Congress consider policies that support manufacturers in the fight against COVID-19, but the PRO Act would do the opposite.”

In other congressional news, the NAM threw its support behind H.R. 5, the Equality Act of 2021, which would amend the Civil Rights Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing, public accommodations, public education, federal funding, credit and the jury system.

  • “Manufacturers have known for years that an inclusive workplace with meaningful anti-discrimination protections helps them hire and retain the best possible workforce,” said NAM Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary Linda Kelly in a letter to the House of Representatives. “Individuals can only thrive when they can bring their whole selves to work. Manufacturers can only attract talented employees when those employees feel safe from discrimination, harassment or worse at work and in their communities.”
Press Releases

In Fight Against COVID-19, Partnership on DPA Is Critical

Timmons: “Manufacturers stand ready to continue doing our part.”

Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement on the Biden administration’s use of the Defense Production Act:

“Manufacturers have consistently advised the federal government that the Defense Production Act is most productive if deployed in a way that fosters partnership and provides incentives—rather than imposing demands or punitive measures.

“With this announcement, the Biden administration is demonstrating that they have listened to manufacturers and are seeking a true partnership in defeating COVID-19.

“These measures will strengthen our ability to continue providing the treatments and vaccines that we need to save lives, the equipment we need to protect frontline workers and the food and supplies that families need for their everyday lives. Manufacturers stand ready to continue doing our part.

“We will also continue to set the standard for safe behaviors—wearing masks, social distancing, washing hands and, when able, getting vaccinated.”

Background: In December 2020, the NAM sent a letter to members of the Biden COVID-19 Advisory Board, providing manufacturers’ insights on constructive uses of the DPA.

-NAM-

The National Association of Manufacturers 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 12.3 million men and women, contributes $2.32 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and has the largest economic multiplier of any major sector and accounts for 63% 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 NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

Press Releases

Manufacturers Stand Ready to Support Administration’s Efforts to Defeating COVID-19

Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement on President Joe Biden’s executive orders aimed at combatting COVID-19:

“Manufacturers commend the Biden administration for their laser focus on defeating the pandemic and for treating COVID-19 with the seriousness it deserves. Manufacturers stand ready to continue doing our part—from keeping workplaces and communities safe to providing the food, supplies, vaccines and treatments needed to sustain life. We will also continue to set the standard for safe behaviors—wearing masks, distancing, washing hands and, when able, getting vaccinated.

“A smart, targeted partnership between the administration and manufacturers can shape the use of the Defense Production Act to maximize its potential and effectiveness. Leveraging government purchasing power and investment to increase the production of personal protective equipment, vaccines and other critical supplies while collaborating with manufacturers that are eager to contribute in every way possible can help us all achieve the goals outlined today.

“A similar approach is necessary from OSHA as well. Manufacturers’ highest priority remains the health and safety of our teams, families and communities. Throughout the pandemic, we have set the standard in developing protocols to provide workers with facilities free from hazards and to safeguard their operations. What manufacturers need now is clear, science-based information on how COVID-19 spreads, and any rules or standards should provide the flexibility necessary for companies to implement health protocols tailored to the unique circumstances of their shop floors and work environments.

“We look forward to continuing to be a source of information and insight for the Biden administration as we work to unite the country around a successful strategy to save lives and rebuild the economy.”

Background:

In April 2020, the NAM released its “American Renewal Action Plan,” which outlined policy recommendations to combat COVID-19 and spur economic growth.

In December 2020, the NAM sent a letter to members of the Biden COVID-19 Advisory Board, providing manufacturers’ insights on constructive uses of the DPA.

In January, the NAM sent a letter to Labor Secretary nominee Marty Walsh outlining manufacturers’ views on OSHA’s approach to COVID-19 safety protocols.

-NAM-

The National Association of Manufacturers 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 12.3 million men and women, contributes $2.32 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and has the largest economic multiplier of any major sector and accounts for 63% 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 NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org

Press Releases

Manufacturers Outline Executive Action Policy Priorities for Incoming Administration

Washington, D.C. – The National Association of Manufacturers called on President-elect Joe Biden to help ensure the future strength of manufacturing in America by extending key executive orders into the new administration and rescinding those that have harmed manufacturing.

“For decades, we have worked with policymakers from across the ideological spectrum to craft policies that encourage the growth of manufacturing in the United States,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons in a letter to the incoming administration. “Now more than ever, America needs leaders in Washington who are focused on increasing American jobs, wages and investment.”

The letter outlines executive orders that have had a significant impact, positive or negative, on manufacturers over the past four years, and it urges the president-elect “to reverse the most harmful of these orders and keep or expand those that create an environment that is conducive to growing America’s manufacturing sector.”

The NAM’s recommendations will help manufacturers continue to respond to the devastating pandemic and will also power the United States’ economic recovery by setting the stage for manufacturing growth.

To read the full letter, click here.

Background:

The NAM has requested President-elect Biden repeal the following executive orders and consider executive orders for extension.

Executive Orders

Rescind:

  • “Rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program”
  • E.O. 13950 – “Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping”
  • E.O. 13672 – “Revocation of Federal Contracting”
  • E.O. 13769 – “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States”
  • “President’s Report to Congress on the Proposed Refugee Admissions for FY 21”
  • Presidential Proclamation 10052 – “Suspending Entry of Aliens Who Present a Risk to the U.S. Labor Market Following the Coronavirus Outbreak”
  • E.O. 13944 – “Ensuring Essential Medicines, Medical Countermeasures and Critical Inputs Are Made in the United States”
  • E.O. 13948 – “Lowering Drug Prices by Putting America First”
  • E.O. 13957 – “Creating Schedule F in the Excepted Service”

Extend:

  • E.O. 13771 – “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs”
  • E.O. 13805 – “Establishing a Presidential Advisory Council on Infrastructure”
  • E.O. 13766 – “Expediting Environmental Reviews and Approvals for High-Priority Infrastructure Projects”
  • E.O. 13845 – “Continuing the President’s National Council for the American Worker and the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board”
  • E.O. 13932 – “Modernizing and Reforming the Assessment and Hiring of Federal Job Candidates”
  • E.O. 13777 – “Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda”
  • E.O. 13806 – “Assessing and Strengthening the Manufacturing and Defense Industrial Base and Supply Chain Resiliency of the United States”
  • E.O.s – “Strengthening the Federal Government’s Anti-Counterfeiting Efforts”

-NAM-

The National Association of Manufacturers 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 12.3 million men and women, contributes $2.32 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and has the largest economic multiplier of any major sector and accounts for 62% 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 NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

Press Releases

Manufacturers Congratulate Gov. Raimondo on Nomination

Timmons: We look forward to working with her and her team to enhance the competitiveness of manufacturing in America

Washington, D.C. – Following President-elect Joe Biden’s announcement nominating Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo for Secretary of the Department of Commerce, National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released this statement:

“We congratulate Gov. Raimondo on her selection to serve as Secretary of Commerce. The National Association of Manufacturers has always enjoyed a special relationship with the Department of Commerce. The NAM championed the 1903 establishment of the department as one of our association’s earliest causes.

“Our partners at the Rhode Island Manufacturers Association have enjoyed a productive working relationship with Gov. Raimondo, who will undoubtedly draw on her past private-sector experience in her new role. With a family that has been heavily involved in manufacturing, she knows well that our industry is the backbone of the American economy. So we look forward to working with her and her team to enhance the competitiveness of manufacturing in America and to continue our efforts to build a stronger, more inclusive modern manufacturing workforce—to create more career opportunities for more Americans.”

-NAM-

The National Association of Manufacturers 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 12.1 million men and women, contributes $2.35 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and has the largest economic multiplier of any major sector and accounts for 62% 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 NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org

Press Releases

Small Business Success Critical to Manufacturing

Washington, D.C. – Following President-elect Joe Biden’s announcement nominating Isabel Guzman for Administrator of the Small Business Administration, National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released this statement:

“Small and medium-sized manufacturers are the heart of the manufacturing industry in America. The NAM has long enjoyed a strong working relationship with the SBA, and this past year in particular the work of the SBA, especially the Paycheck Protection Program, has been critical for small manufacturers weathering the difficult economy. We congratulate Isabel Guzman on her nomination and look forward to working with her to ensure that small and medium-sized manufacturers can thrive in the United States and continue creating great jobs for the American people.”

-NAM-

The National Association of Manufacturers 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 12.1 million men and women, contributes $2.35 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and has the largest economic multiplier of any major sector and accounts for 62% 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 NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

Press Releases

Manufacturers Congratulate Mayor Walsh on Nomination

Timmons: We look forward to opportunities to work with the Labor Department in the Biden administration to grow and strengthen our workforce

Washington, D.C. – Following President-elect Joe Biden’s announcement nominating Boston, Massachusetts, Mayor Marty Walsh for Secretary of Labor, National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released this statement:

“Manufacturers congratulate Mayor Walsh on his nomination. Our industry works every day to build a stronger, safer, more prosperous manufacturing workforce. We have more than half a million manufacturing jobs to fill right now and expect up to 4.6 million will need to be filled by 2028, which is why we launched our Creators Wanted campaign with The Manufacturing Institute, the NAM’s workforce development and education partner. Our focus is on inspiring a new generation and people of all backgrounds to pursue high-paying modern manufacturing careers. We look forward to opportunities to work with the Labor Department in the Biden administration to grow and strengthen our workforce.”

-NAM-

The National Association of Manufacturers 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 12.1 million men and women, contributes $2.35 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and has the largest economic multiplier of any major sector and accounts for 62% 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 NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

Policy and Legal

Congress’s Funding Package: What Manufacturers Should Know

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Congress’s new funding package, which covers COVID-19 relief and much more, will provide Americans with much-needed security during this holiday season. Manufacturers are among the major beneficiaries, as Congress recognized that the sector is essential to keeping our country healthy, fed and functional throughout the pandemic.

The NAM’s policy team reports that legislators closely followed the NAM’s recommendations in a wide variety of policy areas. Here are a few highlights.

The Paycheck Protection Program: This program was reauthorized with $284 billion in new funding and extended through March 31, 2021. It also lets businesses choose when to spend the loans, expands the list of acceptable uses for the loans and simplifies loan forgiveness.

Taxes: The last round of stimulus, called the CARES Act, included a payroll tax credit for “eligible employees” affected by the virus. This new package extends that credit through June 30, 2021, while also upping the percentage from 50% to 70%. Meanwhile, it increases the amount of workers’ pay that qualifies for this tax credit from $10,000 for the year to $10,000 per quarter.

And that’s not it for taxes. This package also extends or makes permanent many other provisions. For example, it extends the deadline by which workers must pay back deferred payroll taxes, while also extending the temporary, refundable tax credit for small and medium-sized employers that are providing required paid leave.

Labor: As you’ve probably read by now, the package gives workers on unemployment $300 per week on top of their state benefits. These payments will last until March 14, 2021.

Vaccines/COVID-19 care: And now for the measures that will help end this pandemic for good. The package includes $20 billion for the purchase of vaccines, making them free for all who need them; $8 billion for vaccine distribution; $20 billion to assist states with testing; and a $20 billion distribution from the existing provider relief fund.

And we’re still not finished . . .

Long-term fixes: Congress also included manufacturing priorities that predate the pandemic and remain absolutely crucial.

  • Energy: This is the big one—the first comprehensive modernization of U.S. energy policy in well over a decade, and an upgrade that the NAM has long fought for. We can’t cover all of its many provisions here, but they include everything from energy storage to nuclear development to carbon capture to renewable energy. It’s a major victory for manufacturers and the NAM.
  • Environment: The legislation also includes a provision for phasing down hydrofluorocarbons—greenhouse gases used in refrigeration. Relatedly, it creates new R&D programs for technologies that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the power sector. Both are high priorities for manufacturers’ sustainability efforts.
  • Anti-counterfeiting measures: These measures are designed to protect manufacturers’ intellectual property, and they include the empowerment of the Federal Trade Commission to take action against bad actors exploiting the pandemic.
  • Transportation: As part of this package, Congress passed the bipartisan Water Resources Development Act, which provides a two-year authorization for ports, inland waterways and important water infrastructure investments.
  • Broadband: And lastly, the package funds the improvement of digital infrastructure and broadband access, including for underserved and rural populations. It also includes a support program for those experiencing hardship due to COVID-19.

What’s missing? Since you ask, the package does not include the liability protections that the NAM advocated. But the NAM will continue working on this priority next year.

The last word: NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons said of the legislation, “Some are stirring up controversy over aspects of the spending text to drum up ratings or score political points. But the bottom line is manufacturers—and all Americans—need relief now. This package gives manufacturers and many other Americans a lifeline in the face of the disaster this pandemic continues to wreak on lives and livelihoods. There is unfinished work for sure. But it makes no sense to hold up an action that can bring real relief to this country.”

You can read a more expansive list of policy wins here.

Press Releases

Final Manufacturing Survey of 2020 Finds Cautious Optimism to Close Out Turbulent Year

Washington, D.C. – The National Association of Manufacturers released its final Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey of the year, which showed optimism climbing from its low in the second quarter brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. In the fourth quarter, 74.2% of manufacturers responding to the survey felt positive about their own company’s outlook, up from 66% last quarter. While encouraging, a wide gap remains between today’s numbers and the 90% average in 2019.

After two quarters with weaker domestic demand topping the list of primary business challenges, the inability to attract and retain talent lead the pack once again in the fourth quarter with 62.4% of respondents listing it as their primary current business challenge. Prior to COVID-19, workforce challenges had been the main concern for 10 consecutive quarters. According to the latest numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 525,000 job openings in manufacturing in October, a record high.

“There’s no question manufacturers have rebounded since the dramatic downturn in the spring, although a return to pre-pandemic optimism is still months away,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “We were looking at levels of anxiety not seen since the Great Recession. The recent relief bill passed in Congress must be signed immediately. This, coupled with the manufacturing and distribution of vaccines, will help ensure we don’t go backward. But it’s clear that to keep moving forward in 2021, we’ll need to see more bold action that fosters growth and competitiveness for manufacturers in America and caution against any efforts that may undermine the fragile progress made in the closing months of 2020.

“It will surprise many to know that manufacturers have more than half a million jobs to fill right now. We’re hiring, and that’s why workforce challenges are once again the top concern in our survey. The pandemic delayed our Creators Wanted Tour, but we will be launching virtual tour events in 2021 and hitting the road when it’s safe. And we look forward to working with the new Congress and new administration to help more Americans take advantage of the great career opportunities in modern manufacturing.”

Read the full survey results here.

-NAM-

The National Association of Manufacturers 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 12.2 million men and women, contributes $2.35 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and has the largest economic multiplier of any major sector and accounts for 62% 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 NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

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