Worker stress is insidious, because although it is reportedly widespread and increasing dramatically, it is often unreported. Whether a precast employee is worried about job stability, potential layoffs or lack of job incentive, research tells us that exposure to high levels of stress can result in low morale and decreased productivity. Unresolved stress can adversely affect health at both the worker and the administrative levels.
The year is 1903. In Kitty Hawk, N.C., the Wright brothers are flying their first aircraft. The first World Series is underway between the Boston Americans and Pittsburgh Pirates. And the Great Train Robbery is debuting as the first silent film across the country. That same year, in Brooklyn, N.Y., the Montalbine family – five brothers who immigrated to the United States from Italy – is starting Roman Stone Construction Co. Today, 107 years later, Roman Stone is not only still in businesses but thriving in the precast concrete industry.
Are we there yet? It’s a question that anybody traveling with kids on a long-distance car ride has heard many times before. And it’s a question I’ve been hearing all year long from precast concrete manufacturers – only the topic is much more serious. They’re wondering about the economy, the end of the recession and the return to at least some normal level of activity.
Ever since President Obama signed the Healthcare Reform Bill (officially titled the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) into law in March, businesses of all sizes and across all industries have been scratching their heads over the slew of new rules, regulations and requirements. Where in the past it was enough to provide a basic health care plan for employees – and, in some cases, it was OK to avoid this step altogether – the detailed new law raises much concern over just what is required of American companies and their workers.
NPCA’s technical consultant Sue McCraven invited precast producers James Crockett of Trenwa Inc., Malek Eljizi of Stress-Con Industries Inc. and Steve Wolszczenski of Terre Hill Concrete Products Inc. to discuss how economic uncertainty affects health care planning in 2010 for their respective companies.