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Log In / Register | Apr 19, 2018

Rest Assn Chair Speaks at NY Show

NEW YORK - Michael Kaufman, Chair of the National Restaurant Association, gave the keynote address to the International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York.

Focusing on the theme of service, Kaufman noted the wide impact restaurateurs have on their local communities, both economically and philanthropically. Expressing disagreement with current Washington wisdom, Kaufman expressed the view that individuals and companies which cut back on meeting/convention activity not only harm their own businesses but harm the economy as well. In an opening video, the NRA noted the importance of the industry to the economy (if the US restaurant industry were a country, it would be the 17th largest economy) and to those in need, with a focus on the charitable efforts following 9/11 and Katrina.

Kaufman addressed several legislative concerns, including sodium levels and obesity. Observing the patchwork of caloric-disclosure legislation, Kaufman stated that it was necessary to work with legislators on this matter and therefore the NRA was supporting federal legislation which would apply to stores having 20 or more outlets.

Kaufman's strongest words were in regard to the "card check" legislation. Not only would this legislation destroy the traditional secret ballot, but it would mandate that if the employer and union did not agree on terms, that the government would have an arbitrator determine the pay and conditions of the worker's employment. Kaufman stated that an arbitrator should not be determining the employer-employee relationship.

Asked about NRA's position on the Arbitration Fairness Act and on the Sixth Circuit ruling regarding "manifest disregard of law" as grounds for arbitral vacatur, Kaufman said that he was not aware of an NRA position having been taken on those matters but that he would look into the matter and respond.

(Editors note: We will update this story with any reply from the NRA).

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