Members of the Textile Rental Services Association made the case for pro-business regulatory and legislative policy on Capitol Hill in the morning and huddled in association committee meetings in the afternoon of the second day of the Eighth Annual Leadership & Legislative Conference. Both activities combined their voices and knowledge to prime their companies individually and collectively for further growth.
Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) kicked off the day’s agenda with a Capitol Hill breakfast presentation highlighting the importance of addressing China’s impact on US business. He correctly foretold that later in the day, tariff measures would be announced.
To keep America competitive in the global economy, he noted the importance of fair government regulations and tax relief, pointing out that the recent tax reform bill lowered rates for pass-through entities (sole proprietorships, partnerships, S-corporations) as well as larger corporations.
In 51 meetings in Congressional offices, a higher total than any of the seven previous conferences, the TRSA contingent promoted the economic and environmental benefits of linen, uniform and facility services. Visits to legislators’ offices enabled TRSA members to detail their concerns regarding the following issues:
Infrastructure. The federal Highway Trust Fund is facing a revenue shortfall with a current $15-billion annual gap in what fund receipts can support and the existing investment level. To properly facilitate commerce and safety, TRSA supports establishing a steady, reliable source of revenue for improving the nation’s roadway system and protecting the fund from being used for other expenses not related to highway transportation.
NLRB Over-Reach. NLRB’s facilitation of micro-unions and “ambush” organizing elections and redefinition of “joint employer” (see below) reflect the Board’s lack of interest in fulfilling its charge to act as an impartial referee. Under the Obama administration, the NLRB chose instead to carry out a one-sided agenda aimed at growing labor unions at any costs. TRSA supports passage of legislation addressing ambush organizing to help reverse the trend.
Joint Employer Rule. When a linen or uniform service (or any other type of business) stations an employee on a customer’s site, the service provider can be considered a joint employer with the customer. That makes the provider responsible for the customer’s staff and vulnerable to becoming a party to the customer’s union obligations. TRSA supports passage of the Save Local Business Act, which would limit the extent to which affiliated businesses are considered joint employers for wage-and-hour and collective bargaining liability purposes.
Following the morning Hill visits, conference attendees returned to the host Sheraton Pentagon City in Arlington, Virginia, where seven committee meetings took place, some combining face-to-face interaction with teleconferencing to accommodate members who couldn’t fly to Washington, DC, due to inclement weather. Ideas abounded for new professional development programs, research projects, certification activities, publications, videos, webinars and industry customer outreach campaigns.
Two of these panels, Marketing/PR and Food & Beverage, united to discuss Hygienically Clean Food Service market research and the possibility of further technical study of the hygiene benefits of tablecloths. Meeting separately to discuss market-specific issues were the healthcare, hospitality and industrial/uniform committees. Education, environmental & sustainability and government relations committees met as well. Two more, safety and human resources, were scheduled to meet by teleconference on March 28.