Manufacturing is an enormous part of the American economy. Each year, the manufacturing sector adds trillions of dollars to the U.S.A.’s GDP, and supports millions of job throughout the states.
Yet, the manufacturing industry is constantly subjected to a disproportionate regulatory burden compared to many other industries in the US. All the time, new regulations are passed that can have an enormous negative impact on manufacturers of all sizes, not just the corporate giants that many outside the industry assume make up the majority of manufacturers.
To combat the most obtrusive & invasive regulations that cripple operations, manufacturers and their employees need a voice. Advocacy groups such as the National Association of Manufacturer (NAM) and the National Alliance for Jobs and Innovation (NAJI) give a voice to business owners, but what about the voices of the millions of workers who make their living in the manufacturing industry? Who speaks for the little guy?
This was the question on the minds of the NAM’s leadership when they created a new initiative: The Friends of Manufacturing program.
What Is the “Friends of Manufacturing” Program?
The Friends of Manufacturing is a new advocacy group made up of manufacturing employees, their friends, and their family members—basically anyone involved in the manufacturing industry is welcome to become part of this community.
This initiative is designed to give a voice to the everyday worker that is every bit as important and potent as the business owner. With this voice, manufacturing workers have the chance to make sure that politicians will hear their concerns and needs.
Why is This Program Important?
All too often, lawmakers forget about the little guy—the person working the assembly line who needs their job to pay their mortgage and provide for their family. Politicians see the legislation they pass as a political tool, a way to further their own careers and interests. Consequently, the effects of such legislation on manufacturing workers are often not given enough consideration.
Many bills with good intentions could have unintended consequences for workers, a fact which led to the delay of a new OSHA injury and illness rule by the Department of Labor. As noted in a legal document pointing out the new rule’s flaws, “in banning as ‘retaliatory’ virtually all incident-based safety incentive programs and routine, mandatory post-accident drug testing programs, Id. at 29673, OSHA failed to consider the substantial evidence in the administrative record establishing that such safety programs reduce the number of workplace injuries and even save lives.”
This rule, which was intended to protect against employer retaliation, actually would have made workplaces less safe.
Without a voice, workers in the manufacturing industry cannot make sure that their own concerns are heard by lawmakers. So, when a new rule is passed that affects their safety and their livelihoods, manufacturing workers don’t have a way to make sure that their voices, their concerns, are heard.
The Friends of Manufacturing initiative helps to unite millions of workers into a single voice that’s too big, too loud, for lawmakers to ignore. It creates a public forum for workers to make sure their concerns are heard, and heeded, by the politicians whose actions affect their lives.
We here at Marlin Steel wholeheartedly believe in and support the Friends of Manufacturing initiative. We also hope that this program helps guide policymakers on Capitol Hill to consider the impact of their laws on American workers more carefully, so new legislation will benefit workers rather than hurt them.
Become a friend of manufacturing today, and make your voice heard!