Everyone must help protect our interests through the organized work of ASA.

Dear Industry Colleagues,

A lot of hard work needs to be done; as a country, as an industry, as an association and as individual companies.  Certainly the country is going through a very interesting passage of time; times some feel have never been duplicated. I am confident with American teamwork and hard work, we will remain as the most enviable society ever. Times are turbulent and as individual companies, as individual teams we have to be ready to react, change and be flexible to do the right things in order to survive and be stronger. For our industry, we are fortunate to have an association that works so hard daily on our issues to ensure the best interests of our industry has a voice in the discussions. 

The American Supply Association has targeted two initiatives being debated in Washington that can profoundly change the way we will do business. The first is the Employee Free Choice Act, or what is commonly called Card Check. This bill would dramatically change how unions organize companies. Card Check, if passed and signed by President Obama, who pledged to do so during the campaign, will allow union organizers to simply get 50% (plus one) of a company’s employees to sign a card to unionize. No election, no secret ballot and no chance for the employer to explain how unionization would affect the future competitiveness of the company. This bill has extraordinary support from the unions and therefore those opposed to its passage must show extraordinary support as well. ASA has aggressively opposed Card Check and has worked with allied organizations to defeat its passage.

The second piece of legislation is the president’s economic stimulus package, which includes nearly $15 billion in water infrastructure funding. According to the American Water Works Association, more than $10 billion is needed to fund the drinking water infrastructure projects that are ready to get underway. This money would be used for upgrading our drinking water through improving water mains, pipe, plants, and pump stations. This stimulus package would meanhundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for ASA members. ASA strongly supports the president’s economic stimulus legislation and has asked both the administration and Congress to pass this critical legislation.

While these pieces of legislation may be acted upon by the time this article is printed, it exhibits the depth of issues with which ASA is involved. There are other associations that serve the wholesale and distribution industry who also work in Washington, D.C., on behalf of business interests, butASA is the ONLY association that combines business interests with legislation specific to the PHCP/PVF industry, such as water infrastructure and working with the EPA in the WaterSense program.Everyoneengagedin this industrymust help protect our interests through the organized work of ASA. Our efforts are only as strong as the force behind it. As the year progresses and we face more issues like these that will impact our businesses, your active support will be crucial to our success. Find your voice and join it with ours.

NetworkASA 2009 will be held in Washington, D.C., this fall and a significant portion of the program is dedicated to meeting our elected leaders on Capitol Hill to educate them on our industry and the issues that are important. I urge you all to attend our convention, even if you are not a member, to help find your voice and use it to create the future we want.

Joe Poehling