Rules Would Negatively Impact Food and Consumer Goods Supply Chain
Arlington, VA - Today, FMI – The Food Industry Association filed a regulatory comment letter on behalf of the food industry and joined a coalition of employer organizations in voicing opposition to the National Labor Relations Board's (NLRB) new proposed joint employer standard. The joint employer standard is used to determine when two or more businesses share direct and indirect responsibility of a worker.
FMI's letter raises opposition to the expansion of the essential terms and conditions in the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that would deem business-to-business arrangements as joint employer relationships. These changes have the potential to upend operational relationships that have been at the core of the food industry for decades.
"FMI members have unique needs in meeting staffing requirements in stores, distribution facilities and divisions throughout their business operations. In addition to hiring direct employees, these businesses fulfill operational needs through vendors, contracts and temporary staffing relationships. Utilizing the expertise and specialty skills of these separate businesses should not constitute a joint employer status," stated Christine Pollack, FMI, vice president, government relations.
Pollack continued, "The NPRM’s significant expansion of the essential terms and conditions of a joint employer relationship to capture health and safety standards and hours of work and scheduling would negatively impact every aspect along the food and consumer goods supply chain."
The letter further notes that the food industry is ever evolving due to many factors including supply chain challenges, consumer trends and demands and economic conditions. The staffing needs of manufacturing, warehousing and retailing must remain flexible to meet these changes and demands.
FMI also signed the comment letter filed by the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace (CDW), a coalition of numerous employer trade associations voicing concern over regulatory overreach by the NLRB that threatened employees, employers and economic growth. The CDW letter details legal arguments as to why the NPRM is arbitrary and capricious. CDW also issued a press statement highlighting the coalition’s concerns with the proposal.