Written By: - Date published: 8:22 am, January 20th, 2018 - 52 comments
Categories: Donald Trump, economy, Economy, employment, Free Trade, poverty, unemployment, Unions, us politics, wages, workers' rights - Tags:
Yes, his racist and sexist foul mouth is on the list.
Yes, international disrespect is on the list.
Yes, corruptly gaining wealth as a public official is on the list.
But President Trump’s big reason to be opposed by the left is how he has damaged United States workers.
Here’s the top ten, according to the Economic Policy Institute:
1. Tax cuts that overwhelmingly favour the wealthy over the average worker
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) signed into law at the end of 2017 provides a permanent cut in the corporate income tax rate that will overwhelmingly benefit capital owners and the top 1 percent. President Trump’s boast to diners at the $200,000-initiation-fee Mar-a-Lago Club during the holidays says it best: “You all just got a lot richer.”
2. Weakening or abandoning regulations that protect workers’ pay
Killed the rules on automatic overtime protection for workers.
U.S. employers can now take the tips from serving staff by right.
3. Blocking workers from access to the courts by allowing mandatory arbitration clauses in employment contracts
The Trump administration is in the Supreme Court in Murphy Oil v NLRB to continue to require employees to sign arbitration agreements with class action waivers—forcing workers to give up their right to file class action lawsuits, taking them out of the courtrooms and into individual private arbitration when their rights on the job are violated. And employers’ use of such agreements is likely to increase if the court rules in favor of the plaintiff.
American employers are increasingly requiring workers to sign arbitration agreements in order to get, or keep, their jobs. Arbitration is like a private, for-profit court system, in which the employer usually gets to pick the judge. Employees win there about 21% of the time.
Mandatory arbitration of employment disputes has fuelled the sexual abuse of women by powerful men in politics, business, and the media by barring women from seeking justice against their abusers in court. Forced arbitration prevents victims of sexual harassment from taking their employers to court or even speaking out—under arbitration, most accusations are kept confidential and companies can decide who adjudicates the case.
4. Pushing immigration policies that hurt all workers
The Trump administration has taken a number of extreme actions that will hurt all workers, including pursuing and detaining unauthorized immigrants who were victims of employer abuse and human trafficking—while they were trying to enforce their rights in court—and ending Temporary Protected Status for hundreds of thousands of immigrant workers, many of whom have resided in the United States for two decades. But perhaps the most inhumane and ill-advised example has been the administration’s termination of Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
If the Trump administration’s termination of DACA is allowed to proceed, then each of the nearly 700,000 DACA recipients who are now working with valid work permits will—once those permits expire—become vulnerable to wage theft and other forms of exploitation. That hurts not just them, but it also diminishes the earnings and bargaining power of the U.S. citizens and authorized immigrants who work alongside them.
5. Rolling back regulations that protect worker pay and safety
On April 3, 2017, Trump signed a congressional resolution blocking the Workplace Injury and Illness recordkeeping rule, which clarifies an employer’s obligation under the Occupational Safety and Health Act to maintain accurate records of workplace injuries and illnesses. If an employee is injured on the job (for example, is cut or burned, or suffers an amputation), contracts a job-related illness, or is killed in an accident on the job, then it is the employer’s duty to record the incident and work with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to investigate what happened.
On March 27, 2017, Trump signed a congressional resolution blocking the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces rule. That rule sought to ensure that government contracts are not going to companies with a record of violating workers’ rights or putting workers in danger.
6. Stacking the Federal Reserve Board with candidates friendlier to Wall Street than to working families
7. Ensuring Wall Street can pocket more of workers’ retirement savings
Since Trump took office, the Department of Labor has actively worked to weaken or rescind the “fiduciary” rule, which requires financial advisers to act in the best interests of their clients when giving retirement investment advice.
8. Stacking the Supreme Court against workers by appointing Neil Gorsuch
As seen in the nomination hearings, Gorusch was questioned about a case involved a trucker who had been fired for leaving his stranded trailer to seek shelter in subzero temperatures. An administrative law judge, the Administrative Review Board, and the Tenth Circuit majority held that the driver had been unlawfully fired. Only Gorsuch dissented. In his dissent, Gorsuch described health and safety goals as “ephemeral and generic” and a worker having to wait in subzero temperatures with no access to heat while experiencing symptoms of hypothermia as merely “unpleasant.”
Coming up before the U.S. Supreme Court this year is the right to form a union.
9. Trying to take affordable health care away from millions of working people
The Trump administration and congressional Republicans spent much of 2017 attempting to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). They finally succeeded in repealing a well-known provision of the ACA—the penalty for not buying health insurance—in the tax bill signed into law at the end of 2017. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the repeal of this provision will raise the number of uninsured Americans by 13 million in 2027.
10. Undercutting key worker protection agencies by nominating anti-worker leaders
Trump has appointed—or tried to appoint—individuals with records of exploiting workers to key posts in the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and the National Labour Relations Board (NLRB). DOL is supposed to promote the welfare of job seekers, wage earners, and retirees by, among other things, protecting them from hazards on the job and ensuring they are paid for their work. The NLRB is charged with protecting the rights of most private-sector employees to join together, with or without a union, to improve their wages and working conditions.
On September 2, 2017, Trump nominated Cheryl Stanton to serve as the administrator of the U.S. Department of Labour’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD). In addition to enforcing fundamental minimum wage and overtime protections, WHD has a full host of responsibilities and enforcement authorities that include labour protections for workers in low-wage industries where workers are most vulnerable, such as agriculture. Stanton has spent much of her career representing employers, not workers, in cases alleging violations of workplace laws, including wage theft and discrimination. And Stanton was sued by a cleaning services provider who alleged that Stanton failed to pay for multiple housecleaning visits. Stanton has not been confirmed by the full Senate, but will likely be re-nominated by President Trump again this year.
The NLRB’s role is to protect workers’ rights under the National Labor Relations Act, deciding cases involving when and how workers can form a union and what types of activities employees can engage in to try to improve their working lives. On September 25, 2017, the Senate confirmed Trump nominee Rob Emanuel—an attorney at the Littler Mendelson law firm who had regularly represented large employers—to become a member of the NLRB. On November 8, 2017, the Senate confirmed Trump nominee Peter Robb as the general counsel to the NLRB. Robb has spent much of his career as a management-side labour and employment lawyer.
There is no need to apologise for being anti-Trump. He is anti-worker.