‘Policies an attack on workers’
Even as the AFL-CIO announced its endorsement of Joe Biden last week, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka noted that many frustrated rank-and-file members voted for Donald Trump in 2016. He sought to address these members directly in a video release on May 26.
Trumka noted the AFL-CIO was openly critical of the Obama-Biden administration over a number of issues, including the “Cadillac tax” on health plans that was repealed late last year and the failure to pass the Employee Free Choice Act, a bill that would make union organizing easier.
Trump was able to tap into working people’s frustration, but his policies have been nothing short of an attack on workers everywhere.
“Donald Trump campaigned as a friend of workers, talking about a new direction and a new day after decades of policies that left us poorer and weaker. Some working people, desperate for a rapid departure from business as usual, took a chance on Trump. Look, I get it,” Trumka said.
“Over the past four years, the president showed his true colors. He slashed rules designed to protect us on the job. He cut workplace health and safety inspectors to their lowest level in history. He took overtime pay away from millions of workers. At every turn, he’s actively undermined collective bargaining and the freedom to form a union,” Trumka continued.
“The path to the presidency runs through the Labor Movement,” Trumka said. “And with the full force and unmatched reach of our political program, we are ready to pave that road for our friend Joe Biden.”
Trump’s anti-worker record
At every turn Donald Trump and his appointees have made increasing the power of corporations over working people their top priority. The list of the damage done to working people by the Trump Administration is long and growing every day. Here are a few examples:
• Trump has encouraged freeloaders, made it more difficult to enforce collective bargaining agreements, silenced workers and restricted the freedom to join unions.
• Trump has packed the courts with anti-labor judges who have made the entire public sector “right-to-work for less” in an attempt to financially weaken unions by increasing the number of freeloaders.
• Trump has stacked the National Labor Relations Board with anti-union appointees who side with employers in contract disputes and support companies who delay and stall union elections, misclassify workers to take away their freedom to join a union, and silence workers.
• Trump has made it easier for employers to fire or penalize workers who speak up for better pay and working conditions or exercise the right to strike.
• Trump promised to veto the PRO Act and the Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act, historic legislation that will reverse decades of legislation meant to crush private sector unions and shift power away from CEOs to workers.
RESTRICTED OVERTIME, GUTTED HEALTH
AND SAFETY PROTECTIONS
Trump has restricted overtime pay, opposed wage increases, and gutted health and safety protections:
• Trump changed the rules about who qualifies for overtime pay, making more than eight million workers ineligible and costing them over $1 billion per year in lost wages.
• Trump has reduced the number of OSHA inspectors so that there are now fewer than at any time in history, and weakened penalties for companies that fail to report violations.
• Trump threatened to veto legislation that would raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour.
• Trump’s Secretary of Labor, Eugene Scalia, is an anti-worker, union-busting corporate lawyer who aggressively defended Cablevision’s decision to fire 22 workers when they tried to win a contract with CWA.
REDUCED INSURANCE COVERAGE,
INFLATED DRUG PRICES
Trump has helped insurers reduce coverage and made it easier for pharmaceutical companies to inflate drug prices:
• Trump supports an ongoing lawsuit that would eliminate protections that ensure that health insurers can’t discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions.
• Threatened to veto legislation to reduce prescription drug costs, even though last year the prices of over 3,000 drugs increased by an average of 10.5 percent.
• Made protecting the profits of pharmaceutical companies a priority in NAFTA renegotiations.
• Proposed cutting funding for Medicare in his FY2021 budget.
ENCOURAGED OUTSOURCING OFFSHORING JOBS
Trump has encouraged outsourcing and offshoring:
• Instead of supporting bipartisan legislation to help save call center jobs, Trump pushed for a corporate tax cut bill that gives companies a 50 percent tax break on their foreign profits – making it financially rewarding for them to move our jobs overseas.
• Trump has broken his campaign promise to take on companies that move good jobs overseas — instead, he’s given over $115 billion in federal contracts to companies that are offshoring jobs.
• Trump failed to prepare the nation for the COVID-19 pandemic, opposes hazard pay for essential workers, and has given employers a free pass to lower safety standards.
• Trump has failed to secure enough Personal Protective Equipment for essential workers during the COVID-19 crisis and has weakened protections for workers who are concerned about working in unsafe environments.
• Trump refused to use the Defense Production Act to get manufacturing members back to work producing ventilators or PPE and instead used it to force meatpacking plants to open despite thousands of workers getting infected on the job in unsafe working conditions.
• Trump promised to veto the Heroes Act, which would give essential workers premium “hazard” pay and expand paid leave and unemployment insurance for those impacted by the coronavirus.
• Trump has opposed providing aid to help state and local governments continue providing services and keep workers on payroll –– suggesting instead that it might make sense to allow states to declare bankruptcy.
• Trump’s OSHA has lowered standards meant to protect workers from getting sick at work and given employers a free pass if they fail to follow even those minimal requirements.
For a complete rundown of Trump’s anti-worker record, with links to citations and news sources, visit https://cwapolitical.org/trumps-anti-worker-record.