Union Representation Elections, by John Satagaj
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has voted to develop a final rule to change some of the procedures related to union representation elections. Earlier this year, an extensive revision of the representation election process was proposed by the Board majority. The proposal advanced by the Board now is a significantly scaled back version and includes six changes. The Board still has to approve the final language. The Board majority is in a hurry to do so as one of the two remaining Democrats on the board will lose his seat at the end of this year, and the Board will no longer be able to take any actions unless new members are added to the Board. The Senate Republicans have vowed to prevent that from happening and they have proven they have the leverage to do so.
The changes are very technical in nature. The National Labor Relations Act provides for a pre-election hearing to determine whether there exists a "question of representation" to be resolved by an election and the first proposed amendment gives the hearing officer authority to limit the hearing to matters relevant to the question of whether an election should be held. The second proposed amendment authorizes the hearing officer to decide whether to permit parties to file briefs depending on whether the hearing officer believes the case presents issues that would benefit from it. The Board's current rules require parties to file two separate appeals to seek Board review of pre-election issues and issues concerning the conduct of the election, respectively and the third amendment consolidates the two appeals into a single post-election procedure. The fourth amendment prohibits delaying the scheduling of elections to permit time for a pre-election appeal. The fifth amendment would narrow the circumstances in which a request for special permission to appeal to the Board would be granted. The sixth amendment would give the Board discretion to hear and decide any appeals to the election process, whether they concern pre-election or post-election issues. DETAILS.
Depreciation Bonus, by John Satagaj
This week the House will vote on a bill to extend the current temporary payroll tax relief for employees. There is a pleasant surprise in the bill.
As we all know, there is currently a temporary 100 depreciation "bonus" in 2011 in addition to a temporary direct expensing allowance. In 2012, the bonus drops to 50 percent and the direct expensing drops by a considerable amount. In 2013, the bonus goes away and the direct expensing allowance drops to 1980s' levels!
The House payroll tax relief extender bill extends the 100 percent depreciation bonus for another year through 2012.
The bill is most likely going to pass in the House, but it will be along party lines. In addition, the Senate Democrats and the White House are not going to go along with it. Having said that, I am not willing to concede the depreciation bonus has a zero chance of survival. The Administration and some Democrats have been friendly towards it in the past.
Even if the bonus extension does not get beyond the House, at least it gives us some hope for the future, and Democrats in the House should be made aware of that component of the bill and Republicans thanked for bringing it forward. You know the drill for contacting folks.
There are other components of the House bill that you may or may not like. While the two percent temporary payroll tax reduction is often characterized as "for the workers," most of you get the two percent relief, even if you are a S Corporation shareholder, partner or sole proprietor. Also tucked in there is a positive change for C Corporation estimated tax payments. Over the last few years, Congress has been accelerated them as "offsets." The bill restores old rules. While some of you benefit, not sure why they stuck this in there, as it is sure to be labeled a Christmas present for the Fortune 500 and thus a lightning rod. DETAILS
A Success for WMMA Members
A report from Harold Zassenhaus, WMMA Staff, email@example.com, 301 652 0693
The WMMA organized a pavilion on the exhibit floor of the Woodworking Machinery & Supply Expo (WMS) held at the Direct Energy Centre, Toronto, Canada October 27-29.
Canada housing starts are on pace to hit 206,000 units in 2011 or about 2 ½ times the level of the US when considering the population differential. The 3,000 attendees (est.) to the WMS came with a purpose and many of the exhibitors wound up with a large ratio of leads to total visitors.
Size: estimated 4,500 sq. meters (45,000 sq. ft.)
No. Visitors, estimated: 3,000
No. of exhibitors, estimated: 125
The major dealers were present (Normand, Akhurst, CNC Automation, Allied, Taurus Craco) but some of the larger players like Biesse, Weinig, and Homag were either not there or had very small representation.
Most visitors came from Ontario (perhaps 80%) with the remaining coming from other parts of Canada and the US.
Hall traffic was best on the second day of the fair (Friday). The biggest surprise came on Saturday when attendance was very good until an hour or so prior to the events closing.
I counted 35 WMMA member exhibitors, 17 of which were exhibiting on their own, 8 in the WMMA pavilion and 10 who showed in their dealers' booths.
The WMMA Pavilion
The stand was located in the center of the show. The 900 sq. ft. stand included 8 WMMA members plus the WMMA itself. The space, stand design, construction, furnishings, utilities, and cleaning were organized by the WMMA. The discounted $2,700 fee paid by each participant included the above making it easy and affordable for members to participate.
The booth was not continuously crowded. However, the large majority of members felt the show met or exceeded their expectations with leads generated from all parts of Canada and in some cases the US.
To learn more about foreign markets visit (access to WMMA members only*). The Country Evaluation Sheet carries information on developed and developing woodworking markets and includes global and country imports and exports of woodworking equipment and wood products.
Nominations for Board of Directors
WMMA's Leadership Development Committee is preparing the slate of Directors for the Board term expiring in 2015. These individuals should be known for their character, ability and integrity. While acknowledging the strengths of the current organization, nominees must embrace change and recognize the key challenges facing the Association and manufacturers of wood machinery, cutting tools and supplies.
Nominations should be sent immediately to Leadership Development Committee Chair Tom Onsrud, C.R. Onsrud, #1 Technology Drive, PO Box 419, Troutman, NC 28166-0419 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. For a list of current Board members, click here.
Seeking Outstanding Industry Contributors
Nominate an individual who has made outstanding contributions to manufacturing, the wood industry, your company and/or to WMMA. Entries for the prestigious 2012 WMMA Ralph B. Baldwin Award must be received at Association Headquarters no later than March 9, 2012. Members click here for more information.
ANCHORSEAL Index November 2011
The Rainbow After The Storm
Brighter minds than mine are looking past our current uncertainties and seeing improvements in the year to come. Hardwood production has continued to remain constrained with fluctuating demand. The good news is that more and more operations appear to be maintaining flexibility in their production, responding to current and anticipated demand rather than over-producing on a wish-and-a-prayer.
Some of those analytical minds are in the American Trucking Associations which publishes their monthly Truck Tonnage Index. As you can see here, that Index has been climbing regularly since the depth of the Recession nearly 3 years ago. This represents tonnage shipped by truck and shows that shipment of manufactured goods continues to rise, giving us a positive indicator for the economy as a whole. DETAILS.
Save the Dates! WIC 2012
WMMA, WMIA and AWFS recently announced the dates for the Woodworking Industry Conference (WIC) for 2012. Save the dates for WIC 2012, being held next year at the Delray Beach Marriott in Delray Beach, FL on May 2-4, 2012.
The theme of One Industry, One Conference, Endless Opportunities will focus on "Connecting the Industry". WIC 2011 was thought by many to be "absoulutely the best WIC I ever attended". The three sponsoring associations have started the planning to build on the success of 2011 with an even better WIC for 2012.
Look for registration information in January, 2012.
Manufacturers Host Historic Discussion with Presidential Candidates
WMMA sent an email to its members last month announcing a historic discussion with Republican Candidates at a NAM hosted Presidential Forum on Manufacturing. WMMA provided a link to view the live forum on November 1st.
If you missed the opportunity to hear the candidates discuss manufacturing in the U.S., NAM has the forum on their website, you can watch it here.
WMMA Members and IWF Room Block
The WMMA has a room block at the Westin Peachtree Plaza for any member or members seeking accommodations for the IWF. The rate is $138/night. The Westin is located within walking distance to the GWCC and is serviced by the IWF provided shuttle service. Click here for the group housing form and click here for the individual housing form.
IWF Attendee Registration
Registration opens the first week of January 2012. Please visit www.iwfatlanta.com in January for further information.
The 2012 Exhibitor Product News will also be available in January.
A Note to IWF Exhibitors
Invoices have recently gone out for the payment due on January 13, 2012.
All the time, all at one place IWF 2012.
Join one of IWF's communities or subscribe to the I-Channel, the industry newsletter from IWF and start making your connections today.
IWF 2012 will be held in Atlanta, GA at the Georgia World Congress Center, August 22-25, 2012.
WMMA looks forward to seeing you there.
Upcoming Industry Events
April 21-26, 2012 High Point (Spring) High Point, NC
May 2-4, 2012 Woodworking Industry Conference 2012 (WIC 2012) Del Rey Beach, FL
May 8-12, 2012 Xylexpo Milan Milan, Italy
August 22-25, 2012 International Woodworking Fair (IWF) Atlanta, GA
October 13-18, 2012 High Point (Fall) High Point, NC
May 6-10, 2013 LIGNA 2013 Hannover, Germany
May 13-16, 2013 Interzum 2013 Cologne, Germany
July 24 - July 27, 2013 AWFS Fair 2013 Las Vegas, NV
Happy Holidays from WMMA to you!