Due to the cancellation of the Premium Cigar Association’s (PCA) annual trade show and international convention, the trade organization announced that it would be furloughing its staff temporarily but for an indefinite period of time (see The Entire Staff of the PCA Placed on Temporary Furlough Due to COVID-19 Pandemic). Many have questioned the impact of this move while important legislative work continues, including the September 2020 Substantial Equivalence (SE) compliance deadline. The PCA Board has now announced that two of its staff members will be excluded from the furlough to allow for operations to continue as usual in some capacity.
The PCA has revised their official statement on the furlough:
Over the past few weeks, the PCA board and executive committee has been considering the current state of the industry and the association. As we have had to make the difficult decisions with the furlough, we have examined and assessed the many priorities the organization has operationally as well as the many advocacy efforts the PCA engages in on behalf of the industry.
As we have reviewed and identified the critical priorities for the organization and the industry, and the amount of work involved, we know it is critical that we keep our legislative fight going. Not only are we seeing increased taxes, smoking bans, and characterizing flavor bans, but we have significant momentum in our fight for federal regulatory relief. In addition, we need to ensure continuity in our headquarters and to keep the planning and production of the 2021 trade show on schedule as well as handle day-to-day operations for member inquiries and communications. Therefore, the PCA Board has decided to bring Executive Director Scott Pearce and Head of Government Affairs Joshua Habursky back off furlough to manage and oversee the work in the specific priority areas. All federal and state advocacy questions should be directed to Joshua Habursky and all other inquiries should go to Scott Pearce.
We want to stress that this furlough is temporary, and we will reach out to and work with our membership and our manufacturing partners to bring staff back to full operating capacity as soon as we possibly can.