Congressional representatives and regulatory officials met with dozens of International Warehouse Logistics Association(IWLA) members as they gathered in Washington, D.C., for the 2013 IWLA Legislative Fly-in & Council Meetings, Sept. 16-18, 2013.
Much of the event focused on laws and regulations specifically targeting food safety and chemical-materials handling in the supply chain. These warehousing leaders, most small- to midsize employers, also discussed the U.S. Affordable Care Act.“Everyone who participated in the IWLA Legislative Fly-in and the IWLA Food Security, Chemical and Rail Council Meetings found worthwhile, relevant information to take back to their companies,” says IWLA Washington Representative Pat O’Connor, partner at Kent & O’Connor.
These warehousing employers also learned about changes that will affect how they screen and hire employees. O’Connell cites a presentation from Consumer Data Industry Association Senior Vice President of Public Policy & Legal Affairs Eric Ellman: “Warehouse security is a high priority for IWLA members, so when the EEOC issues a new policy that labels criminal background checks as a violation of civil rights, members must make adjustments to human resources and legal policies to stay in the boundary of the law,” O’Connor says.
The IWLA Food Security Council, Chemical Council and Rail Council Meetings provided more specialized content focused on regulatory compliance in each respective area:
- IWLA Food Security Council members engaged in in-depth discussion of the customer’s perspective on preventative controls for third-party warehouse providers. They also reviewed of the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s (FDA) Reportable Food Registry with Hillary Thesmar, vice president, Food Safety Programs, Food Marketing Institute.
- IWLA Chemical Council members participated in a mandatory train-the-trainers educational session for the U.S. Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration’s Global Harmonization Standards. Emily Walters, ICC Compliance Standard led the training, which will fulfill the requirement to have employees trained by the Dec. 1, 2013, deadline.
- IWLA Rail Council members met with the staff members from the U.S. Surface Transportation Board (STB) Rail Customer and Public Assistance Program to discuss the program resources available to users of U.S. Class I railroad service, specifically, the mediation services designed to resolve disputes between users and carriers.
O’Connor says an overarching goal for these meetings is developing an understanding by elected officials about what IWLA member companies do – and the broader role the warehouse-based third-party logistics plays within the global supply chain.
“It’s important that government officials have a complete understanding of an industry and the businesses comprising that industry in order to have our rights reflected in the overall regulatory/legislative policy,” O’Connor says.
Visit the IWLA Facebook Page to view the 2013 IWLA Legislative Fly-in & Council Meetings Photo Album.