At the outset of President Donald Trump’s presidency, many people were cautiously optimistic that the candidate who claimed to be a champion of the American worker and who had chalked victories in union strongholds like Michigan, Pennsylvania and Ohio would have their backs after winning the election.
The reality, however, has told a different story. As this New York Times editorial details, Trump has “systematically favored employers at the expense of workers.”
On matters of pay, safety, discrimination protections and much more, the Trump administration has rolled back, reversed course or charted a harsher path against workers in favor of business interests.
The unprecedented assault on public sector workers, culminating in last summer’s decision in the Janus v. AFSCME Council 31 case, overturned 40 years of precedent and was a setback for workers’ ability to negotiate a fair return on their work. Trump appointed to the Supreme Court two anti-worker justices who made the Janus decision possible.
But the assault on public sector workers is only one disturbing strand of a broader spectrum of this administration’s antagonism against workers.
There’s the recent, vicious attack against home care workers, which dealt a blow to their ability to negotiate together. There’s the robust, much-needed investment in infrastructure that’s really a veiled privatization scheme. There’s the budget that makes deep cuts to programs working families rely on. And there was the government shutdown – a political stunt used to secure funding for a border wall. The list goes on.
The Economic Policy Institute characterizes the Trump administration’s posture toward workers this way in an email to supporters: “Whether it’s restricting overtime pay eligibility, not enforcing work place protections, allowing employers to misclassify workers as contractors instead of employees, or failing in his campaign promise to raise the minimum wage, Donald Trump and his Department of Labor are undermining our ability to earn a fair wage.”
While the Times’ editorial is robust in its critique, working families who’ve been paying attention know this isn’t news at all.
If you don’t want to see important protections for workers rolled back by the administration, make your voice heard here.