Vice President Mike Pence recently joined 3,000 manufacturing leaders on a call hosted by the National Association of Manufacturers and the NAM’s Manufacturing Leadership Council regarding the COVID-19 response. He provided an update on the administration’s efforts to fight the spread of COVID-19, detailed the NAM’s work with the administration to coordinate the industry’s response and thanked manufacturers for the work they have done across the country to provide and produce vital supplies.
“The efforts of so many of you have truly been inspiring, and at times, at great cost,” said Pence. “It is clear to the president, it is clear to his vice president, and clear, I know, to the American people that American business is putting America’s health first.”
Pence specifically mentioned ASO LLC, a consumer medical supplies manufacturer in Sarasota, Florida, that stepped forward to produce 1.2 million medical gloves for health care workers. He also mentioned other ways manufacturers are stepping up, including by donating millions of N95 masks to health care workers in impacted areas.
Pence urged manufacturers to examine their inventories for equipment that could be donated to local hospitals, to communicate the White House’s health and safety guidelines to employees and to continue working with the NAM as it helps mobilize the industry to deliver and produce urgently needed supplies. The NAM has been in close contact with the White House’s Office of Emergency Supply Production, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Federal Emergency Management Administration, the Department of Health and Human Services and other key federal agencies.
“So many of you play a critical role in the life of this nation and critical infrastructure industry,” said Vice President Pence. “We want to work with you to find a way to continue to move forward, to continue to produce and continue to operate.”
In addition to the vice president’s remarks, Todd Niemeier of the CDC’s COVID-19 Response-Health Systems and Worker Safety Task Force provided manufacturing-focused guidance, and The Hershey Company’s Vice President of Engineering Will Bonifant and Senior Director of Manufacturing, Global Supply Chain Tim Hinegardner shared steps the manufacturer is taking to protect their employees and the public.
“As manufacturers have throughout our history, we are going to be part of the solution,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “We are responding, we are mobilizing and we are leading the country.”
The NAM is continuing to provide coronavirus resources for manufacturers, connecting businesses with guidance from appropriate government officials and agencies and providing updates on the state of the manufacturing industry.
For more information, including best practices, CDC resources and more, go to nam.org/coronavirus.
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.