Your GAWDA Connection | May 15, 2018
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GAWDA SMC Hits Record Attendance

GAWDA’s Spring Management Conference, 2018 edition, set some new records. The meeting, held in St. Louis, the hometown of 2017-2018 association President Ned Lane, hit an SMC record attendance mark of 678 members and guests.

The Contact Booth Program at this SMC was another record-setter, according to John Ospina, GAWDA executive director. He noted that a total of 144 exhibitors participated and 83 were involved in the Prize Program promotion. That's the highest for both totals in the last several years. 
Ewing Named to New Second Vice President Role

A new board of directors position — second vice president — is being added to the GAWDA leadership ranks after approval of the concept by GAWDA membership at the recent Spring Management Conference business session.

Bob Ewing, of Red Ball Oxygen, of Shreveport, La., who has been serving as a GAWDA board vice president, was selected for the role. The membership unanimously approved the action in balloting.

In addition, an updated slate of 2017-2018 officers was named. They are: Ned Lane, president; Brad Peterson, president-elect; Abydee Butler Moore, first vice president; Ewing as second vice president; Mark Raimy as first past president and Bill Visintainer as second past president. Named as vice president officers are Evan Bennear, Kelly Bladow, Jay Brant, Jeff Johnson, Melissa Perkins, Bill Proctor and Jim O’Connor.

According to President Lane, the role of a second vice president was added to help advance the planning of future conferences, permitting years-earlier planning and easier access to desired dates and location accommodations. The move also allows more preparation time for future presidents to acclimate to duties of the position, he said. To accommodate the new role, the second past president position eventually will be phased out.
House Passes FAA Bill with Meal and Rest Break Preemption 

On April 26, the U.S. House of Representatives adopted an amendment by Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA) to the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill to clarify the effect of 49 USC 14501(c). The amendment provides that a driver who is subject to the federal hours of service regulations may drive up to the limits of those requirements and state or local governments may not enforce any laws to the contrary.

The vote to adopt the amendment was 222-193. The next day, the House passed the full FAA reauthorization bill by a vote of 393-13. The Senate Commerce Committee approved its version of the FAA bill in June of 2017; that bill also has preemption language. The full Senate is expected to take up the bill in May or June, and a conferenced bill will likely be approved by the full House and Senate by September, if not before. The current FAA reauthorization expires September 30, 2018, so that is the deadline for congressional action.

In addition, the House (but not the Senate) version of the provision would apply this preemption language retroactively to 1994, the date the original statute was enacted. If enacted into law, the provision would definitely end existing litigation over meal and rest break claims under the laws of California and any other states. Cases that have been settled already or received final disposition in the courts would not be affected, however.

The FAA bill does not affect claims for pay under state minimum wage laws, however. That issue must be resolved under the current preemption statutory language. 
Supreme Court Considers Case on Meal and Rest Break and Minimum Wages 

The U.S. Supreme Court is considering whether to accept for review J.B. Hunt v. Ortega, a class action by drivers for two claims: one for pay under California meal and rest break law, and the other for pay under the California minimum wage law. J. B. Hunt used an activity based pay method, which compensated drivers on a rate per mile, plus piece rates for deliveries, and an hourly wage for other activities. California law says that every hour of work must be compensated at the statutory minimum rate or more; courts have previously ruled that an employer may not average pay over a day, week or pay period to achieve the minimum wage rate.

J.B. Hunt claims the current 49 USC 14501(c) preempts the claims under both the California meal and rest break law and the California minimum wage law. The district court agreed with the carrier and dismissed the claims. Then, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed. The Supreme Court will decide within the next several months whether it will accept the case for its next term beginning in October 2018.

In 2014, the Supreme Court declined to review another case from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Dilts v. Penske Logistics. There, the appeals court used a very limited view of the 14501(c) preemption language to hold that it did not bar a claim by drivers under the California meal and rest break laws. But in that case the drivers operated solely in intrastate commerce, so the Supreme Court might have been reluctant to address the preemption issue for solely intrastate drivers. Also, the Dilts case did not involve a minimum wage claim. Thus, the J.B. Hunt case is probably a stronger candidate for Supreme Court review, but the Court accepts fewer than two percent of the cases submitted.
12 GAWDA Foundation Scholarships Awarded 

Twelve students who intend to study for careers they can use in the gases and welding industry have been awarded this year’s GAWDA Foundation scholarships. 

The GAWDA Foundation scholarship is designed to help educate, attract and keep quality individuals in the industry. Since the program began in 2013, 70 scholarships have been presented worth a total of $140,000 . A total of 328 applications for the awards have been received.

The 2018 winners and the colleges they plan to attend are: Hannah Baughman, Fort Hays State; Jacob Tyler Bruecks, Redlands Community College; Garrett Cirrincione, Purdue University; Melissa De Jesus, University of Phoenix and Makayla Duke, Louisiana State University at Shreveport.

Also: Marlana Ferrari, Southern Illinois University; Sabrina A. Lutse, University of New Mexico; Meghan Mikula, PSU - Behrend; Graci Runk, East Texas Baptist University; Madeleine Stenzel, University of Minnesota-Rochester; Christian A. Stewart, University of Alabama; and Megan West, West Chester University.

Funds for the scholarships were contributed by 21 GAWDA companies this year. GAWDA also matches the contributions up to $25,000. The companies are: Airweld Inc., Arc3 Gases Inc., B&B Pipe and Industrial Tools, California Welding Supply, Central McGowan, Chart Inc., Coastal Welding Supplies, and Cryoworks Inc. Also: Equigas Inc., Exocor Filler Metals, Holston Gases Inc., ILMO Products Co., Keen Compressed Gas Company, Luxfer Gas Cylinders, O.E. Meyer Co., Otto Arc Systems Inc., Prism Visual Software Inc., The Horton Group, T.W. Smith Corporation, WEH Technologies Inc. and Welders Supply Company – Raimy Corporation.
GAWDA Gives Back Charities Selected 

Two Seattle non-profit organizations have been chosen by President Ned Lane and his wife, Joanne, as the charities to benefit from this year's GAWDA Gives Back initiative.

Selected are: Mary's Place, which Lane said is a "leading voice for homeless women, children and families in emergency situations." Funds raised will be dedicated to purchase additional beds and to add on to the shelter area.

Also chosen is the Ronald McDonald House of Seattle, a charity with personal meaning to Lane and his family due to a young friend who passed away from cancer. The charity provides temporary housing for families while their loved ones are being treated at hospitals.
Got an Anniversary? We’d Like
To Write About Your Success

The “Anniversary” issue of Welding & Gases Today is coming up next. If you’re celebrating a “big” business anniversary, please get in touch to let us know. We’d like to include you in our coverage.

Anniversaries – whether 10, 20, 30, 50 or 70 years or more – are a big deal, because they mean that your company has been doing something right, over and over again.

We’d like to find out what you think creates success, and let your fellow GAWDA members know how you’ve made it happen for all those years.

Please contact Editor in Chief Diane Stirling (dianes@datakeyorg), 315 445 2347, to make sure we include you in our 2018 edition.
Got a Couple Days?
You Can Take In a GAWDA Regional!

Six more regional meetings are planned yet this year, including three close on the calendar in June and July. If you’ve got a couple days, they are great ways to network with other GAWDA members, take in a business topic or two, and see for yourself (or show a prospective member) what the association is all about.

The June and July regionals are:

The full list is on the GAWDA website.
Jack Butler New CGA Chairman

Jack Butler, president and CEO of GAWDA distributor member Butler Gas Products of Pittsburgh, Pa., has been elected chairman of the Compressed Gas Association.

He was named to the volunteer position at the CGA Annual Convention recently. The term is for one year.

Butler also was cited as the 2018 recipient of the CGA Service Award, according to news from the company. Sponsored by Chart Industries, the award recognizes CGA committee participation for character, commitment, and contribution to uphold and further the mission of the CGA, according to CGA’s website. 

Of his naming as CGA chairman, Butler notes, “I’m happy to be there. I love the industry and I love giving back to the industry. I’ll be working to get more GAWDA and CGA cooperation and collaboration in efforts to make our industry safer.”

Butler is the first distributor member to serve in an executive committee capacity there. He was vice chair for the past year. He also is a past president of GAWDA, serving the association in 1992-1993.
Distributor Member

Delta Welding Supply, Inc.
1701 East U.S. Highway 41
Attica, Ind. 47918
FAX 765-762-1825
Rex Oteham, president
Holli Oteham, vice president
David Abrams, cylinder fill/inside sales
Supplier Member

Trinity Cryogenics
9701 Old Street Road 25 N. 
Lafayette, Ind. 47905
FAX 465-564-6032
Keith Hall, vice president product development
Edward Leon, general manager
Scott Rasmussen, sales engineer

Trinity Cryogenics offers manufacturing, sales, service repair, inspection, testing and rehabilitation of cryogenic trailers and truck-mount ASME pressure vessels.
Member News:
  • Airgas Acquires Weiler Welding; Marks 500th Acquisition 
  • American Torch Tip Adds Robotic Specialist 
  • CPV Manufacturing Is ISO 9001:2015 Certified
New Products:
  • Saint-Gobain/Norton Introduces Quantum 3 Wheels
  • Abicor Binzel Releases New Gas Management System