WASHINGTON — March 21, 2017 — Representatives of member companies of TRSA — the linen, uniform and facility services association — took to Capitol Hill today during TRSA’s Leadership and Legislative Conference to raise issues important to the industry. This year’s conference achieved record participation in the number of individuals traveling to Capitol Hill (77) combining for over 60 meetings at House and Senate offices.
It was one of the busiest days in recent memory on the Hill, with the Neil Gorsuch nomination for the Supreme Court, President Donald Trump promoting healthcare reform and the new 2018 federal budget proposal. TRSA attendees reported eyeing the president as he arrived and departed from the Capitol. They overcame long lines to enter congressional office buildings but then took advantage of the secured underground tunnels and subways traversing the Hill to conduct as many as four meetings each in the three hours allocated on the conference agenda for these visits. TRSA organized the meetings for the participants.
Primary issues TRSA raised with legislators:
Improve the regulatory process — TRSA advocated reform based on bipartisan principles of accountability (Congress should vote on the most costly regulations), transparency (eliminating rulemaking to settle lawsuits) and participation (more public data and comment).
Transportation investment — TRSA called for establishing a steady, reliable revenue source for the Highway Trust Fund without tolling existing highways or levying weight-distance taxes or vehicle miles-traveled fees.
National Labor Relations Board — Reversal is needed of NLRB decisions that:
- Allow organizing of bargaining units as small as a handful of workers in a larger workplace (“micro-unions”);
- Make businesses liable for workplaces they don’t control and workers they don’t employ (“joint employer”); and
- Reduce the time before a union election while requiring employers to provide organizers with employees’ personal information (“ambush elections”).
Preparation for Hill visits began March 16 when Kevin Schwalb, TRSA government relations VP, briefed 22 conference registrants on the issues by teleconference, displaying data using TRSA’s webinar platform. Three conference sessions the day before the Hill visits framed ensuing discussions with legislators:
- Workplace law expert Michael Lotito observed that efforts to drive reforms like those TRSA seeks are most likely to gain momentum later in the year.
- Stephen Hayes, FOX News correspondent and Weekly Standard editor in chief, described Trump as a chaos agent, open to negotiation and “talking to everybody.”
- An issue briefing/team building session acquainted attendees with peers with whom they would visit Congressional offices in small groups the following day. A total of 21 such groups of a few individuals were formed for the visits.
At breakfast on the Hill just before the groups headed to their appointments, Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., primed them for these conversations.
Posted March 22, 2017