US Federal Labor Viewpoints – Week of October 4, 2021

It is a weekly publish spotlighting labor matters in focus by the US legislative and govt branches throughout the earlier week.

On this subject, we cowl:

  • September Jobs Report

  • COVID-19 Vaccine Employer Mandate Updates

  • Different Basic COVID-19 Updates

  • Reconciliation Bundle Updates

  • USTR Touts Concentrate on Labor Provisions

The U.S. Senate was in session this week, whereas the U.S. Home of Representatives was in recess.  Whereas each chambers of Congress are scheduled to be in recess subsequent week, in observance of the standard Columbus Day vacation, the decrease chamber is predicted to return for a vote on the short-term debt ceiling extension invoice the Senate accredited on Thursday.

September Jobs Report. 

On Friday, the U.S. Division of Labor released the September Jobs report, reflecting a acquire of solely 194,000 jobs throughout a month when the Delta surge peaked – far lower than the five hundred,000 new jobs that economists anticipated.  The unemployment fee declined to 4.8 p.c, from 5.2 p.c in August.  Notably, the September report was the primary jobs report because the $300 per week in supplemental unemployment advantages expired on September 5.   With Delta infections subsiding, some anticipate the October report may mirror improved job progress.  The employer mandate imposing vaccine necessities for workers may additionally have an effect on job progress going ahead.

In addressing the roles report, U.S. President Joe Biden centered on advocating for the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package deal and his Construct Again Higher spending invoice.  Republican Nationwide Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel pushed again, saying President Biden’s proposal would contribute to “reckless spending” that consequently would hurt U.S. financial restoration.  She added:

Individuals can not afford Biden’s disastrous Construct Again Broke agenda.”


COVID-19 Vaccine Employer Mandate Updates. 

On Thursday, President Biden spoke of the Occupational Security and Well being Administration (OSHA) emergency non permanent customary (ETS) being drafted to mandate employers with greater than 100 workers to require their workers be vaccinated or face weekly COVID-19 testing.  He indicated OSHA would “shortly issue” the ETS.  He additionally referred to as on extra employers to mandate the vaccine, arguing the “unvaccinated also put our economy at risk because people are reluctant to go out.”  The White Home released a 27-page report that day, arguing that vaccination necessities are saving lives and strengthening the financial system.

Late final Friday, the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Council, which has jurisdiction over authorities contracts, released guidance for the Federal Authorities contracting business that was put collectively beneath tight time constraints.  In sum, the FAR Council tells contractors to adjust to the Safer Federal Workforce Job Power’s steerage, which set December 8 because the deadline for coated contractors to be absolutely vaccinated.  In the meantime, the Basic Companies Administration (GSA) supplied the contracting business an opportunity to submit questions final week; it’s set to carry an business engagement occasion on October 13 to debate implementation of the September 9 Govt Order mandating contractors require workers be vaccinated.


Different Basic COVID-19 Updates. 

With a number of holidays approaching and information suggesting that America could also be on the draw back of the Delta COVID-19 surge, U.S. well being officers are warning towards easing restrictions and urging extra Individuals to get vaccinated.  Late final Friday, the U.S. Meals and Drug Administration (FDA) said its vaccine advisers would meet on October 26 to debate information from Pfizer/BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine trial amongst youngsters aged 5 to 11.

Additionally final Friday, Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics reported their investigational antiviral drug, molnupiravir, can scale back the danger of hospitalization or dying from COVID-19 by half.  Whereas the antiviral drug has but to be accredited by the FDA, U.S. officers proceed to induce Individuals to get vaccinated and never await the antiviral possibility.  FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb stated of the drug over the weekend:  

It’s not a substitute for vaccination.  We nonetheless should attempt to get extra folks vaccinated.”


Reconciliation Bundle Updates.  

The Home of Representatives failed final week to take up the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package deal already accredited by the Senate.  Speaker of the Home Nancy Pelosi (D-California) referred to as off a deliberate vote on the measure late final Thursday, asserting on Saturday that her new goal for passing the invoice is by October 31.  Centrist Democrats expressed disappointment that the infrastructure invoice continues to be linked to Democrats efforts to advance its bigger $3.5 trillion spending package deal that’s centered on “human infrastructure,” or social and local weather change priorities.  Progressive Democrats, nevertheless, proceed to say they won’t help the infrastructure invoice within the Home, except it strikes in tandem with the spending package deal.  Senator Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) continues to carry agency that he won’t settle for a spending package deal that exceeds $1.5 trillion, amid experiences that President Biden and Democratic congressional leaders are pushing for an higher restrict of $1.9 to 2.3 trillion.  Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema (Democrat) additionally stays agency on the necessity to decrease the spending package deal’s topline, however she has not shared publicly her topline quantity.


USTR Touts Concentrate on Labor Provisions. 

This week, U.S. Commerce Consultant Katherine Tai chaired the commerce session on “Making Trade Work for All” on the sixtieth Group for Financial Co-operation and Growth (OECD) Ministerial Council Assembly (MCM) in Paris, France.  A readout  from the Workplace of the U.S. Commerce Consultant (USTR) mirrored the contributors mentioned linking commerce and labor commitments in free commerce agreements, incentivizing Accountable Enterprise Conduct, addressing labor dangers in international provide chains, and addressing challenges posed by non-market economies.

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