Pittsburgh, PA–Printing Industries of America President & CEO Michael Makin released today the following statement regarding introduction of the Protecting Rational Incentives in Newsprint Trade (PRINT) Act of 2018 by U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Angus King (I-ME):
“Printing Industries of America (PIA) has spent the better part of 2018 informing the Department of Commerce of the unique circumstances in the trade remedy case targeting Canadian imports of uncoated groundwood (UGW) paper, providing a realistic viewpoint of paper consumption, and explaining the devastating impact taxing produce is having–now–on the print and publishing industries.
Currently, alleged anti-dumping tariffs and countervailing duties are being collected at the border and printers are feeling the effects of market upheaval in regards to scarce supply and higher costs being passed onto end users. While PIA respects U.S. trade law and understands a quasi-judicial process to determine final injury to the sole petitioning paper company must proceed, the association also has a responsibility to stand up for its member companies caught in the crosshairs of this ongoing investigation.
The printing industry is constantly innovating and reinventing itself to stay competitive in the modern communications marketplace. Taxing our most essential raw material drags down the industry’s job creation, economic growth, and future viability. The reality is that demand for newsprint and electronic alternatives–not unfair foreign competition–has driven down consumer use of newsprint. That’s why PIA applauds Senators Collins and King for standing up to say “time out” on behalf of the printing and publishing industry by introducing the PRINT Act.
This bipartisan bill would require the Department of Commerce to conduct an economic wellbeing study on the printing and publishing industry and pause any affirmative determinations on final tariffs until President Trump has certified receipt of report and has concluded such determinations are in the national interest. Most importantly, the PRINT Act would halt the current collection of cash deposits for Canadian UGW imports.
Trade remedy laws are designed to help domestic industries attain a level playing field on which to succeed–not to create an exponential number of domestic losers in the process. The PRINT Act is crucial to restoring a much-needed sense of sanity surrounding tariffs on uncoated groundwood paper. PIA endorses this legislation and will continue to work to highlight the need for rational decision making in relation to this ill-conceived tariff.”
The EEOC has extended the filing deadline to June 1 and can be accessed here. Employers will not be asked for pay and hours-worked data as had been proposed. Companies with 100 or more employees, or federal contractors/subcontractors with 50 or more employees and a contract of $50,000 or more must file the form. The snapshot period is October 1–December 31, 2017.
If you need assistance with the EEO-1 form or any HR-related issues, contact Adriane Harrison at 1-800-910-4283 (ext. 707) or [email protected].
The latest ISM Survey of 18 U.S. manufacturing industries paints a mixed picture for printing and related activities for April compared with March. Print’s sales were up along with 16 other manufacturing sectors, which is great news. Printing and related production was also number five out of 15 manufacturing sectors reporting increased activity. However, print was one of six sectors reporting declines in employment.
Free to all printer members, a brand-new course is available in the iLearning Center titled The Basics of Prospecting. Developed specifically for salespeople, Printing Industries of America has partnered with Bill Farquharson to deliver this free-for-printer-members sales course. Eleven short videos cover very concise topics that are critical to successful sales including where to look for the best leads; knowing what to say in order to gain an appointment; and how to create a solid, successful prospecting program. Combine this course with some effort and get results.
For more information, visit www.printing.org/ilearning.
From Printing Industries of America “Quick Takes” Update. Author: Michael Makin
For printers whose customer base includes chain restaurants, grocery stores, movie theaters, or any other company that sells food in more than 20 establishments, the long debated and oft delayed calorie count display rule kicked in this week. The rule was originally part of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act of 2010 as a public health provision but has been hotly contested by the food industry ever since. What information to include and in what format has been part of the ongoing debate. For now, the so-called “war on pizza” is settled. Meanwhile, food packagers are in flux mode as they observe continued debate on what will be required on new nutrition panels. Printing Industries of America (PIA) continues to monitor these regulations and will provide updates on any important milestones.
The new month brought a staffing change as Trisha D’Abreau joined the PIAG Insurance team. D’Abreau filled the vacant role of producer for the insurance agency.
D’Abreau is passionate about helping members protect their businesses and is committed to serving as a trusted advisor. She is dedicated to treating each individual with dignity and respect and truly enjoys guiding others in exploring various insurance options through a consultative sales approach. She takes the time to explain coverages and benefits and believes in providing a highly personalized experience to her clientele.
D’Abreau enjoys building strong relationships with local business owners and their employees through community involvement, active membership in the Chamber of Commerce and old-fashioned face-to-face networking.
April 27, 2018
Production in printing and related support activities continued growing in March according to the latest ISM (Institute for Supply Management) survey of manufacturing, which covers 18 U.S. manufacturing sectors. Overall manufacturing continued to grow in new orders, production, and employment during the month. Print was number one out of 14 manufacturing industries with growing sales. While there were 12 manufacturing sectors with increases in employment during March, print’s employment numbers remained level during the month.
April 27, 2018
The Stop Tariffs on Printers and Publishers (STOPP) Coalition has launched a full-scale campaign and media campaign to urge the Department of Commerce and International Trade Commission (ITC) to rescind its efforts on using trade remedy laws to slap tariffs on uncoated groundwood paper. Tariffs are currently being collected at the U.S.- Canada border as the case is being investigated, and anecdotally the marketplace is feeling the financial hit. PIA, which chairs the lobbying committee for STOPP, is lining up lawmakers to send letters to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and to testify before the ITC in July. PIA is engaging all affiliates on this full-bore advocacy campaign.
April 27, 2018
Earlier this month a federal court overruled a 35-year-old decision when it held that salary history, alone or in combination with other factors, is not a legitimate factor upon which a wage differential may be based. The court held that basing current wages on prior pay history violates the Equal Pay Act. This means that when determining wages, employers should not consider prior pay history. Employers can comply by simply not asking new hires for a pay history. This decision specifically applies to our members in California, Arizona, Washington, Oregon, Montana, Nevada, Idaho, and Alaska, but is instructive for all. The decision will likely be appealed to the United States Supreme Court.
April 27, 2018
In a time of dire financial straits for the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), it is unfathomable that the nine-person USPS Board of Governors has been totally vacant since the end of 2016 (and has lacked a quorum since 2014). The Board of Governors, which is essentially a corporate board of directors for an entity that is the second largest national employer after Walmart, has been hamstrung by the backlog of Trump Administration political appointees (each Governor must face a Senate hearing and be confirmed by a vote of the full Senate). Fortunately, there was movement last week as three nominees advanced through the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. Naturally, the big news emanating from the hearing was the Trump versus Amazon feud as Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO), the top committee Democrat and co-sponsor of the Postal Reform Act of2018, grilled the nominees on their willingness to stand up to the President regarding “last mile” partnerships withAmazon (and UPS and FedEx, for that matter). All agreed in various ways that they would be independent voices on behalf of the USPS. The nominees are expected to receive final Senate votes in the coming weeks. At that point, some normal functioning will be restored to governing the USPS at this critical time.
What Does Umbrella Insurance Cover?
Whether it’s a serious car accident involving pricey medical bills or an incident on your property, you can quickly find yourself responsible for damages that exceed the limits on your auto, homeowners, or boat policies.
Umbrella insurance provides extra liability coverage that can help protect assets, such as your home, car, and boat. It also helps cover defense costs, attorney fees, and other charges associated with lawsuits.
In today’s world, anyone can get hit with a lawsuit. That’s why it’s more important than ever to consider an added layer of protection for your assets – and your peace of mind. Contact PIAG Insurance, 770.433.3050, today to get your free quote for an umbrella policy.
Video provided by Traveler’s Insurance as part of the Distracted Driver Awareness Month campaign. Learn more about Traveler’s Insurance at www.travelers.com.
April 24, 2018
On May 1, 2018, Pressing News, the Printing & Imaging Association of Georgia’s (PIAG) weekly email to membership, will be receive some format changes to better serve the membership of the association. A new logo, a new look, focused content, and frequency are just a few things the association will be change for this publication. These changes are part of an effort to better meet members needs and to provide them with more focused content in a new format. The weekly email will move to a bi-weekly email with information focused around four areas: Top Stories for the Printing Industries, Membership Benefits, Insurance, and Events.
Staff members at PIAG hope that the changes will improve readership, enhance the value of membership, and provide a new member experience. To continue to improve the publication, they plan to assess the membership on a regular basis and make the necessary adjustments.
“We want to make sure our members are getting the information they need, that information is relevant, and they feel there is a value added for the membership.” stated April Wallis, Director of Member Engagement for PIAG.
Changes for the new format include but are not limited to:
- Frequency change from weekly to bi-weekly
- New logo
- Overall new layout
- Focused content around membership, events, and insurance
- Increased interactive reader experience through polls, surveys, and possible giveaways.
The Printing Industries of America recently announced another brand-new free course for their membership. The new course titled InDesign Data Merge for VDP is free to all PIA and PIAG members and available in the iLearning Center. In this course, you will learn how to leverage the power of Adobe InDesign’s Data Merge tool to create impactful, engaging variable-data printed jobs. Participants will be able to follow along with two sample projects while learning all about the various levels of variable-data printing (VDP). Participants will also learn how to properly prepare, sort, and export raw data using Microsoft Excel; merge and update data in InDesign; and export PDFs for digital printing.
April 17, 2018
The following is from Piedmont Healthcare at www.keeppiedmont.org
Piedmont Healthcare and Anthem Blue Cross Have a New Agreement
We are pleased that Piedmont and Anthem Blue Cross have shaken hands on a new agreement. The arrangement ensures patients that have Blue Cross insurance can continue to see their Piedmont doctors and visit Piedmont hospitals without incurring higher out-of-pocket costs, including covering visits and services delivered since April 1 as “in-network.”
We sincerely appreciate Governor Deal’s assistance in bringing the parties together and creating a higher sense of urgency toward resolution.
Preserving the relationship between the patient and their preferred healthcare provider has been our number one goal during this entire negotiation. We know this has been difficult for our patients, and we are sorry for that. Please know that we did everything in our power to avoid a disruption in your care. We understand the value of your trust.
April 17, 2018
Insure Your Business Against Ransomware
Recently, the city of Atlanta was hit by a ransomware attack that has so far cost the city nearly three million dollars and left many city government departments offline causing some to revert to paper records. Ransomware is a malware (malicious software) that can be spread through email attachments, infected apps, or compromised websites. These computers, files, and records are then held by the hackers until a ransom is paid. Usually, the ransom amount is relatively small to encourage the victim to pay to get those things back.
While it may be difficult to prevent an attack from happening to you, there are insurance policies that may help you avoid substantial financial liabilities in the event it does happen. The more robust policies help pay for extra wages to pay for overtime as well as the ransom payment itself.
Call PIAG Insurance at 770-433-3050 today to find out more about how these policies can help you protect your business.
Please visit piaginsurance.com to find an application and more information about how we can help your business with this and other business insurance policies.
Deal Gives Both Sides in Piedmont-Blue Cross Dispute an Ultimatum
Gov. Nathan Deal gave two health care firms at the center of an impasse that’s left about 650,000 people in limbo until Tuesday to reach an agreement over insurance reimbursements — or risk him taking executive action.
The governor met Monday with the leaders of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia and Piedmont Healthcare to try to compel an agreement over a new contract after their last agreement expired April 1, leaving many Piedmont patients to pay out-of-network costs for their current doctors.
When the sit-down ended without a breakthrough, the governor used social media to warn he would be “forced to initiate executive action” if the two health care giants don’t resolve the dispute by Tuesday afternoon.
Deal has prodded the two sides to hash out a compromise for weeks, worried that droves of state employees could be left in the lurch without one. Monday’s meeting was described as a candid — and at times uncomfortable — discussion where Deal put both sides on notice. If the stalemate isn’t snapped, it could mean that patients would have to find a new care provider or risk being stuck with much higher out-of-network costs such as co-pays if they go to their familiar caregiver.
It’s unclear what the governor would do, but his options include allowing a “re-enrollment” period for state employees that would let Blue Cross members choose a new insurer. He could also order state officials to explore ways to increase competition for hospitals and insurers in the markets rocked by the dispute.
‘Sense of urgency’
The deadlock affects about 650,000 state employees, teachers, retirees and their families, and the state has said it would pick up the out-of-network costs for its employees for up to 30 days. Deal’s office said that could cost $42 million.
State officials are bewildered and frustrated with the contract fight and hoped the meeting will speed a resolution. State Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens, for one, vented that the negotiations have “gone on too long.”
“I fully support the governor’s stance on this issue and strongly encourage both parties to act now in the best interest of their customers,” he said.
There have been recent signs of progress: Both sides were deep in negotiations last week, and the firms both said they’re confident a deal could soon be struck.
“We share the governor’s sense of urgency about getting this resolved for the patients, and we are willing to meet with Blue Cross around the clock until it’s resolved,” said Matt Gove, a Piedmont executive. Blue Cross used similar language in a statement Monday that said it is “prepared to negotiate non-stop to bring Piedmont’s hospitals and physicians back into our network.”
The showdown involves two titans in Georgia’s medical industry, and the outcome is being closely watched by other health care firms. Blue Cross is the state’s dominant insurer, while Piedmont has launched a massive expansion that includes buying hospitals in Athens, Columbus, Conyers and Covington.
The footprint of the patients affected by the dispute is vast. About a half-million current patients of Blue Cross have seen a Piedmont provider within the past 18 months. And there are some 2 million Blue Cross Georgia customers who could have used Piedmont as an in-network provider.
Both companies, while tight-lipped on exact details, have been quick to point fingers at one another. Piedmont posted a note to its patients earlier this month saying that Blue Cross is failing to offer doctors reimbursement rates that cover the annual rate of inflation “but they will tell you that we are asking for unfair rate increases.”
Blue Cross President Jeff Fusile has shot back, telling The Atlanta Journal-Constitution last week that the insurer is trying to be even-handed. “We’ve offered a fair rate,” Fusile said. “Piedmont’s determined that they don’t believe that it’s a fair rate. And we keep going back and forth to find the balance between them providing good quality care and helping our members continue to afford it.”
The two firms have scrapped before over Blue Cross’ reluctance to fund some in-hospital MRIs and CAT scans when they can be done for less elsewhere, as well as the insurer’s policy not to cover emergency-room costs when it decides that care wasn’t warranted.
A Piedmont spokesman also said doctor payments were a roadblock.
Whatever happens, the clash is likely to send ripple waves across Georgia’s health care industry. Bill Custer, a health care professor at Georgia State University, said fast-growing health care providers such as Piedmont that treat an increasing number of people face a natural tension with large insurers seeking to lower costs.
“However this negotiation ends,” he said, “it will be at the very least a step toward a changed health care delivery system.”
April is Distracted Driving Awareness month and PIAG Insurance wants to make sure you arrive safely each time. More than 40,000 Americans died on the roads in 2016, the most significant increase in deaths over a two-year period in more than 50 years.1 Whether someone you love has been known to text and drive, or you have found yourself distracted behind the wheel, these tips can help avoid dangerous activity on the road.
- Stow your phone. Turning off the phone and putting it in “do not disturb” mode can help remove the temptation to browse online at a red light or respond right away to a text message.
- Vow not to multi-task. Anything that occupies your mind or vision can be a distraction behind the wheel. Make time at home to eat meals or put on makeup, so you can focus on the road.
- Don’t be a distraction. Avoid calling or texting family members and friends when you know they are driving to avoid distracting them.
- Talk to your employer. Responding to texts or taking calls for work while driving can be dangerous. Encourage your employer to have a distracted driving policy that includes waiting to talk with employees until they are safely parked.
- Keep kids and pets safe. Make sure kids are in proper car seats and that pets stay secured in their zone in the back of your vehicle. It can also help reduce distractions if pets are not roaming about the car.
- Set a good example. Parents can model good behavior for their children by demonstrating attentive driving. Avoid texting, eating, grooming or calling someone while behind the wheel.
- Plan your route before you go. Programming your navigation system while you drive can take your eyes off the road. It’s better to ask a passenger to do it or to enter your destination before you leave home.
- Speak up. If you see someone texting or otherwise driving while distracted, say something and let them know that you are not comfortable with that behavior. Encourage your children to do the same when they are passengers in a friend’s car. It could save a life.
- Set rules of the road. Consider restricting the number of passengers until your teen or new driver gains experience behind the wheel.
- Avoiding reaching. Resist the urge to reach for items if they fall while driving.
Taking your eyes off the road to search for an item can make you more likely to have an accident.
Share these tips to help keep others safe. For more on ways to reduce distracted driving, check out Every Second Matters, Travelers’ conversation starter on reducing distracted driving risk.
1 National Safety Council, NSC Motor Vehicle Fatality Estimates.
Gov. Nathan Deal today directed Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia and Piedmont Healthcare to return to the negotiating table on behalf of the nearly 600,000 employees, retirees and their families affected by the recent contract disruption. Deal also announced the state and the University System of Georgia will absorb out-of-network claims for affected employees for up to 30 days in order to minimize patients’ financial burdens.
“My administration will not sit idly by during this contract dispute and leave our state and university system employees, teachers and their families in the balance,” said Deal. “My top priority is the well-being of our members. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia and Piedmont Healthcare must return to the negotiating table, and Blue Cross Blue Shield must honor the contractual obligations made to the state. If an equitable solution is not reached, I’ve directed the Department of Community Health and the State Health Benefit Plan to explore all possible solutions to ensure our members have access to care. The university system stands ready to take similar action on behalf of its employees. This step is necessary in order to protect our citizens from unanticipated costs and interruption to care.”
“We want to make sure University System of Georgia families have access to the care they need and this 30-day extension is a necessary step to provide coverage for our employees,” said University System of Georgia Chancellor Steve Wrigley. “Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia and Piedmont Healthcare must come to a quick resolution to this contract dispute so additional costs are not incurred by employees of the University System of Georgia and the state. We will continue to explore all options to ensure employees and their families have continued access to the healthcare they have been relying on through the University System of Georgia healthcare plans.”
If you haven’t heard, then hopefully this will make it a good print day! One of the technology industry’s most innovative and digitally disruptive powerhouses has an old-fashioned marketing sensibility. AirBNB has launched a print magazine. Read more..
Effective April 1, 2018, Georgia Sales and Use Tax Rates have been changed. Please refer to the Department of Revenue for the State of Georgia for a new chart of rates.
The SGP Partnership is an independent organization that recognizes and acknowledges printing operations that are committed to sustainable printing through a formal certification program.
Becoming SGP certified involves meeting seven different criteria, including EHS regulatory compliance, and implementing a sustainability management system. The Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) team at Printing Industries of America can help ensure that your business meets the requirements to become SGP certified.
Contact the Printing Industries of America Environment Health & Safety team to learn more about becoming an SGP certified printer by emailing them at [email protected].
Smyrna, Georgia – The SkillsUSA Georgia State Leadership and Skills Conference (SLSC) was held March 22-24 at the Georgia International Convention Center. More than 2,000 outstanding career and technical education students competed hands-on in 100 different trade, technical and leadership fields. Students work against the clock and each other, proving their expertise in various occupations such as graphic communications, electronics, computer-aided drafting, advertising and design, precision machining, medical assisting and culinary arts.
The contests administered with the help of industry and test competencies that are set by industry. Leadership contestants demonstrated skills in various area of their chosen field of study and conducted a real-life interview to test their communication skills. The week capped off with the Awards Ceremony, which took place on Saturday March 24 where first, second, and third place winners were awarded on stage. First place winners will continue to the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference to be held in Louisville, Ky., June 25-29, 2018. Winners at the national level will then proceed to the WorldSkills competition.
PIAG would like to thank the following companies and their employees for their assistance and support in administering the screen print, graphic communications, and advertising and design competitions: Heidelberg USA, Danger Press, Preprint, The Studio Temporary, Prepress To Printing, Mac Papers, and Nick Gawreluk.
What is SkillsUSA? SkillsUSA is a national organization serving teachers and students who are preparing for careers in technical, skilled and service occupations. SkillsUSA’s mission is to empower its members to become world-class workers, leaders and responsible American citizens.
1st place – Thomas Ireson, Houston County High
2nd place – Jeickob Tinoco, Appalachee High
3rd place – Nicholas Gibbons, RW Johnson High
1st place – Jordan Hoeppel, Greenbrier High
2nd place – Carson Thames, Troup County Comp High
3rd place – Zachary Thomas, Stephens County High
1st place – James Siad, Walton High School
2nd place – Morgan Young, Dalton High
3rd place – Dominique Jones, Kendrick High
U.S. labor markets are heating up along with the economy. A dynamic duo of a strong dose of deregulation and corporate tax reform has breathed new life into the eight-and-one-half-year-old recovery. The unemployment rate at 4.1 percent is near the historic low, hiring is on the upswing with 200,000 new jobs added in January, labor force participation rates are creeping up, and wages are finally edging higher after a long period of relative stability. At the end of 2017, there were approximately 5.8 million job openings across the county. In 2017, the employment cost index was up 2.6 percent over the year and in January it was up 2.7 percent on a year-to-year basis. Of course, good news is often coupled with bad news, and all this good news has awakened fears of inflation and is tipping the tradeoff between debt and equity. The Center for Print Economics and Management is undertaking research into the dynamics of print labor markets, and our next joint project with the Jones College of Business of Middle Tennessee State University will focus on this important topic. The project explores recruiting, hiring, and HR practices of printers and their relationship to profitability and other key performance metrics. The survey is targeted for early March with the report to be published this summer. This Flash focuses on the dynamics of print labor market conditions over the past few years. We focus on trends in three key variables: • Total printing employment • Printing separations or turnover • Printing hires
The following is a follow up to the legislative action email sent on March 8, 2018. PIAG received this information from Runyan Public Affairs.
We are grateful for our Hill champions — Senators Collins, King and Capito and Rep. Bruce Poliquin for their tireless efforts to push for approval of the measure. They will continue to work with us to block the rule through the rulemaking process. I also want to thank all of our partner organizations including: Consumer Action, the National Consumers League, the National Grange and the Coalition of Mutual Fund Investors as well as CPO Board members and the CPO Lobbying Committee for their steady work over a long period of time. We will need all or your collective efforts going forward. – John Runyan, President
We are grateful for our Hill champions — Senators Collins, King and Capito and Rep. Bruce Poliquin for their tireless efforts to push for approval of the measure. They will continue to work with us to block the rule through the rulemaking process. I also want to thank all of our partner organizations including: Consumer Action, the National Consumers League, the National Grange and the Coalition of Mutual Fund Investors as well as CPO Board members and the CPO Lobbying Committee for their steady work over a long period of time. We will need all or your collective efforts going forward.
– John Runyan, President
“We’re extremely pleased to now offer stretch film as part of our Castle brand of packaging products,” said Chris McCabe, vice president of packaging at Mac Papers. “We are dedicated to providing our customers with best-in-class packaging products and services and our Castle acrylic tape and stretch films help us deliver on that commitment.”
Castle stretch films are offered in hand and machine length rolls. The company’s website – macpapers.com/castle – lists product specifications as well as features and benefits of Castle stretch film, including high-quality cling and superior stretching performance and puncture resistance.
In addition to machine film transported in pallets, Mac Papers also offers a boxed Castle machine film option, enabling ease of handling, moving and storage.
To learn more about Mac Papers’ Castle brand of packaging products, please visit macpapers.com/castle or contact [email protected]
Pittsburgh, PA—Printing Industries of America (PIA) Center for Print Economics and Management and the Department of Management at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) are partnering on a new Management Study exploring recruiting, hiring, and human resources best practices throughout the printing and graphic communications industry. This study will address a common concern among printing industry leaders: the ability to recruit, hire, and adequately staff their firms. With the country’s economy continuing to grow and the print market remaining strong, the study aims to answer: “Why is staffing such an issue?” “Labor markets are heating up along with the economy. The unemployment rate at 4.1 percent is near the historic low, hiring is on the upswing with 200,000 new jobs added in January, labor force participation rates are creeping up, and wages are finally edging higher after a long period of relative stability,” said Dr. Ron Davis, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist, Center for Print Economics and Management. “While all of this is good news, it does raise issues for printers that are looking for workers.” The survey and subsequent Management Study will give printers insight into the best recruiting, hiring, and human resources practices. The project explores the relationship between human resources practices, profitability, and other key performance metrics. Survey participants will receive a comprehensive report of the findings. The survey is now open and can be accessed at this link. For more information about the Center for Print Economics and Management or the survey, please contact Dr. Ronnie Davis at [email protected]