Washington, D.C. – In the wake of the May 25 murder of George Floyd under the knee of a white police officer in Minneapolis, the National Association of Manufacturers’ Executive Committee unanimously voted to pass the Pledge for Action, an 11-point commitment plan for manufacturers to advance justice, equality and opportunity for black people and all people of color.
“My heart is heavy with recent events,” said Michael W. Lamach, chairman and CEO of Trane Technologies and chair of the NAM Board of Directors. “While the killing of George Floyd sparked this outcry, this is a crisis that has gone unaddressed for far too long. We introduced this Pledge for Action to demonstrate our companies’, our association’s and our industry’s commitment to being part of the solution and to stand against injustice and create a better future for the black community and all communities of color.”
Around the country and throughout the world, George Floyd’s death has spurred protest and action, highlighting the inescapable inequities that are too often downplayed and brushed aside by those with the power to make a difference.
Merck Chairman and CEO Ken Frazier addressed the June 11 Executive Committee meeting. He noted that, “Opportunity and equality have the power to change the course of not only an individual’s life, but of history. Through education, I was given the chance to overcome the opportunity gap that exists in this country, and I believe that this pledge, if taken to heart by the NAM members, can do the same for thousands of Americans and in particular African Americans.”
The Manufacturing Institute, the workforce and education partner of the NAM, will continue to support manufacturers’ efforts to improve diversity and inclusion in the workplace and to deliver on these new commitments. The MI, via its Diversity and Inclusion Pillar, will be deploying tools, resources and knowledge to help manufacturers put actions to their words and build more inclusive workplaces.
“This is a difficult time for our country, and manufacturers all have a role to be part of the solution—in our homes, in our companies and in our local communities,” said Chuck Wetherington, BTE Technologies president, NAM Executive Committee member and Small and Medium Manufacturers Group chair. “Our businesses are the hearts and souls of the communities where we live, and we have a responsibility to act. With this pledge, we are making a commitment to do what is right and urgently needed.”
As leaders who represent manufacturers in the United States, the NAM recognizes the integral role our industry has historically played in lifting up people and communities, and the opportunity and obligation we have now to stand with and support all people who face injustice.
“Manufacturers will do our part. All of us must recognize the systemic inequality and racism that black people in America face—and the role we must play in ending it. This industry is committed to delivering the change our nation needs,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons.
Highlights from the Pledge for Action include the following:
- We will strengthen our workplaces as spaces where black people and all people of color will be heard, respected and celebrated.
- We will work to improve and increase representation of black people and all people of color at all levels of our companies and organizations—entry level, midlevel and senior level.
- We will expand education, training and scholarship opportunities in the manufacturing industry for black people and all people of color.
- We will remove barriers and open doors to modern manufacturing careers for those inside prisons and for those reentering society.
- We will encourage increased minority participation in democracy through voting, advocacy and other opportunities for influence.
- We will diversify the supply chain by providing equal opportunity for black-owned and minority-owned enterprises to do business with us.
To read the full Pledge for Action, visit nam.org/pledgeforaction.
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 11.7 million men and women, contributes $2.37 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 Manufacturers or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org
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.