January 6, 2017
By Silver Krieger
New York, NY – The 40th annual National Labor and Management Conference will be held from February 16-21st in Hollywood, Florida, bringing together hundreds of leaders in the fields of labor, health care, labor law, banking and insurance, among others.
The conference is designed to give speakers and attendees a chance to hear about issues and challenges facing management and workers, and provide opportunities to network and strategize. Barbara McCabe, Manager and Director of the NLMC, and Carol Shields, Conference Coordinator, spoke with LaborPress about the 2017 focus and gave a preview about what to expect from this year’s presenters.
“We have fascinating keynoters this year,” said McCabe. “They include Chris Shelton, International President of the CWA (Communications Workers of America), Lonnie Stephenson, President of IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers), Andrew Gurman President of the AMA (American Medical Association), Terry O’Sullivan, President of LIUNA (Laborers’ International Union of North America), and Gary Casteel, Secretary-Treasurer of the United Auto Workers. We’ll also have Karen Ignagni, the CEO of Emblem Health. We expect this year to touch on upcoming changes that will affect Taft-Hartley Funds, particularly in light of the recent election. We’re thrilled to have them all this year.”
Specific events and issues that are vital to workers will be on the table. Janus vs. AFSCME, which is similar in theme to the Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association lawsuit, could potentially hit the Supreme Court within a year,” says McCabe. “We’ll have Lynn Rhinehart, Co-General Counsel of the AFL-CIO, to shed light on the matter. Also, Shelton (CWA) and Stephenson (IBEW) will talk about their experiences securing the Verizon contract in 2016.”
Since healthcare, especially in light of the Trump victory, is of such importance to workers, they’ll also be plenty of time spent on this issue. “Karen Agnani of Emblem Health will speak on the likely future of healthcare – we might even see changes already happening at the time of the conference,” she adds. The growing problem of addiction treatment, and the role of unions in how to navigate this crisis, will also be up for “deep discussion,” says McCabe. “This is a high cost in healthcare,” she says. Michael Jordan, President of MagnaCare, as well as representatives from One Medical and UniteUs will also speak.
Immigration law will also be under discussion, as the new administration takes office and immigrants can expect to be under fire.
The new administration promises change that may dramatically undermine labor and the 2017 meeting will look at strategic “ways unions might find themselves evolving,” says McCabe. “Unions may return to offering more community services, in order to offset potential losses.” A session will be devoted to this topic.
Under new business and member recruitment, Jim Conigliaro Jr., Esq. General Counsel to District 15, Machinists Union, IAMAW will address recently recruited UBER drivers.
As always, the Founder and Chairman of the NLMC, Louis L. Levine, will be in attendance. Levine has a long and distinguished history. He served as Commissioner of Labor Affairs and as Industrial Commissioner of the State of New York from 1966 to 1976 under Governors Nelson Rockefeller, Malcolm Wilson and Hugh Carey and began his work in the field as the Director of Community Services of the AFL-CIO, working with legends of the Labor Movement Harry Van Arsdale and Michael Quill.
William G. Raisch, the Conference Director since 1999, works closely with Levine. His focus at the conference is to “convene key stake holders to identify and better understand targeted problems, to develop consensus-based solutions and facilitate follow-on activity to implement and evolve potential collaborative solutions.”
A key goal of the conference is the relationships that are formed between those who attend. “A critical role of the conference is to establish relations within labor management,” says McCabe.
To learn more about the conference, and to register, go to http://www.laborandmanagement.com/.