On January 15, 2014, the North American Die Casting Association (NADCA) submitted formal testimony to the Senate Banking Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection for the hearing titled, “Regulating Financial Holding Companies and Physical Commodities.”

“Long lead times, supply shortages, outmoded contract terms, and illogical pricing contribute to instability in the aluminum market. This drives down manufacturing productivity and encourages customers to seek overseas suppliers,” said NADCA President Dan Twarog.

This is the second Senate hearing investigating ownership of metals warehouses by banks and holding companies and their relationship with the London Metals Exchange (LME). Aluminum is one of the metals central to the warehousing investigations and subject of three lawsuits against holding companies such as Goldman Sachs, which own metals warehouses.

In February 2013, according to data from the LME, the queue to remove metal from warehouses they oversee in Detroit reached 400 days. In June 2013, some users reported 16-month wait times for aluminum from order to delivery. In May 2013, NADCA met with representatives of the LME to discuss concerns over wait times, among other issues, with the North American Special Aluminum Alloy Contract (NASAAC). The Association considered withdrawing its support of the NASAAC and remains concerned about terms applied to aluminum contracts.

To view the NADCA testimony submitted to the Senate Banking Subcommittee, click here.

NADCA-Endorsed Save American Workers Act Advances; Employer Mandate Delayed Again

The House Committee on Ways and Mean approved the Save American Workers Act of 2013, H.R. 2575, endorsed by the North American Die Casting Association (NADCA). The legislation changes the definition of a “full-time employee” from 30-hours to 40-hours for the purposes of the employer mandate in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Introduced Rep. Todd Young (R-IN), the bill will standardize the definition bringing it in line with what most of the country considers “full-time” and helps to prevent businesses from having to reduce the hours of their workers to fall under the 30-hour threshold. NADCA signed a letter urging the Committee to move on the bill.

“As is the case with every employer in America, health care is a significant cost for NADCA members,” said NADCA President Daniel Twarog. “This bill will help bring the definition of a full time employee in line with other workplace laws.”

The bill is now ready for full consideration by the House of Representatives. In the Senate, Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Joe Donnelly (D-IN) are the lead sponsors of the bipartisan effort. The bill is gaining momentum as the Administration announced it would again delay the employer mandate for mid-size businesses. Under this new delay, firms with between 50 and 99 employees would have until January 1, 2016 before they must offer health insurance to their full-time workers. Employers with 100 workers or more can avoid the penalty by showing that they offer coverage to at least 70 percent of their full-time employees in 2015 and 95 percent of full-time employees in 2016.

Time is Running Out to Register Company for Annual Die Casting Safety Award

NADCA’s acclaimed annual Safety Award Program is only accepting applications through 2/28. Awards are given for Perfect and Outstanding Safety Records for die casting companies and suppliers to the industry. Only NADCA Corporate Members are eligible for this program. There are two award levels: the Perfect Award recognizes the facilities that operated all of 2013 without a reportable injury or illness, and the Outstanding Award honors operations with reportable injury or illness level that was below the national average for all manufacturing of 4.4%. The criteria to receive Outstanding honors was changed to 4.4% in 2013 (previously 7%) based on improved safety standards and conditions in the manufacturing industry.

Winning companies will be notified of their award status in early March and are recognized in print, via Die Casting Engineer magazine and LINKS magazine. The Safety Awards will be honored during NADCA’s Die Casting Congress and Tabletop in Milwaukee, KY in September. Applications must be received by February 28, 2014, so gather those records and start and apply soon! To find the program criteria and entry form, please visit:www.diecasting.org/safety/award.

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