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ACWI Advance – February 1, 2022

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In this issue of ACWI Advance we take a closer look at these stories:

  • Weak retail sales may show an economy tottering on the edge.
  • The government seeks to improve truck driver training, recruitment and retention.
  • The administration launches attacks on independent contractor status.
  • About 87% of executives believe their firms can endure the Omicron variant.
  • Survey shows cargo theft is changing from mobile to stationary sources.
  • Having a disaster plan and employee preparedness training is vital.
  • The Supreme Court strikes down Biden’s OSHA vaccine mandate.

Send your company news to Editor David Sparkman at dspark@comcast.net, and please understand that there is no cost to you when we use your news in this newsletter.


Retail Sales Drop Sparks Concern

December’s weak retail sales numbers and other economic indicators have caused concern because they seem to show a national economy that could be tottering on the edge of a major decline.

Throughout 2021, it looked like the economy was progressing but was plagued by persistent hiccups – moving forward at the pace of two steps forward and one step back. But appearances can be deceiving, and it now seems as though we may have spent the past year dancing on a precipice.

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Feds Expand Driver Training

The Departments of Transportation and Labor announced expanded efforts to improve truck driver training, recruitment and retention.

This includes expansion of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s truck driver apprenticeship programs to include additional employers from participants in the initial pilot.

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Contractors Are Under Attack

Reviving efforts begun during the Obama era, the Biden administration is once again launching full-scale attacks on the legal status of independent contractors, including truck owner-operators.

In early January, the Department of Labor and National Labor Relations Board signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to share information, collaborate and coordinate on investigations of alleged violations of labor and employment laws…

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Omicron Spurs Exec Concerns

A survey of business executives by the Society for Human Resource Management found that 87% believe their organizations can endure an outbreak of the Omicron variant of Covid 19, but are very concerned about its impact on their businesses.

SHRM said, 86% of those polled early last December agreed that existing policies and procedures aimed at stopping the spread of the virus in the workplace gave them confidence as Omicron began spreading, although 67% said they were very or extremely concerned about their organization’s ability to keep employees and customers safe due to the variant.

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Changing Face Of Cargo Theft

Third quarter cargo theft data in the United States last year shows storage facilities were targeted in 45% of reported cases, up from 20% of recorded cases in the same quarter in 2020, according to a report from the freight insurance provider TT Club.

“Congestion throughout the supply chain but particularly in and around ports is a significant contributory factor to this diversification of theft types,” TT Club said.

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Disaster Prep Pays Dividends

The series of tornadoes that ripped through parts of the county in December resulted in widespread death and destruction, including the deaths of six warehouse employees in Illinois.

This should be a potent reminder to employers that: having a disaster plan and preparedness training is vital, says attorney Brittany Buccellato of the Akerman Labor & Employment law practice.

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OSHA Vax Mandate Is Upended

President Biden’s attempt to force employers to ensure their employees were vaccinated against Covid 19 went down in flames when a 6-3 majority of Supreme Court justices said the order issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration under a presidential directive was not legal.

In spite of that ruling, employers need to keep in mind that many state, city and corporate vaccine mandates continue to be in effect even though it appears to be true that many of those who are fully vaccinated are the ones contracting the highly contagious but apparently milder and less deadly Omicron variant of the virus.

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