Election 2008: Impact on Manufacturing
The Democrat-controlled Congress and President Obama will have a significant impact on the metalforming industry’s agenda. Top priorities of the new Congress and administration include:
• Union Card Check–This legislation, which stalled in the Senate during the last Congress, threatens a worker’s right to a secret ballot when determining whether to unionize. It also would require that the federal government impose contract terms on private employers through a process of mandatory, binding interest arbitration.
• Taxes—Congressman Rangel, chairman of the House committee that oversees tax legislation, is committed to moving forward the “mother of all tax bills” in the next Congress. While the bill would cut the corporate tax rate from 35 to 32 percent, it also would eliminate certain tax relief for small and medium-sized manufacturers.
• Climate Change—Concern exists whether the Democratic majority will craft a climate-change measure that places domestic manufacturers at a disadvantage globally.
• Family Medical Leave Act—Congress will likely seek to expand FMLA through legislation that would mandate seven days of sick leave for employees who work more than 30 hr./week at businesses with 15 or more employees. This measure could increase administrative and personnel costs, change flexibility of benefit packages and reduce productivity.
Health care reform, job training funding, trade enforcement and the potential return of an ergonomics regulation are other issues that may be addressed in the 111th Congress. PMA will contunue to work hard to ensure that the metalforming industry’s voice is heard on Capitol Hill. PMA also encourages members to host congressional plant tours to educate their representatives about the issues important to the industry. Those interested should contact Justin Ketchem at 216/901-8800, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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