The flip side to Trump’s assault on workers is greed, helping employers and the 1% shift more money to their own pockets at workers’ expense
TILTING BALANCE OF POWER TO EMPLOYERS
A. Relieves employers for COVID-19 failures
In issuing this guidance, Trump’s OSHA signaled that it did not consider the spread of COVID-19 in non-health-care essential industries to be work-related and gave employers a pass on their obligation to protect workers. After a huge public outcry, the agency rescinded this guidance.
B. Allowing employers to gerrymander bargaining units
In 2011, the Obama NLRB ruled that workers at a plant could determine for themselves who is the bargaining unit as long as they shared a “community of interest.” The Trump NLRB overturned that rule thus enabling employers to gerrymander bargaining units to make it more difficult for workers to organize.
C. Stacking NLRB, Labor Department with anti-worker leaders
Talk about the fox guarding the hen house, Trump has repeatedly nominated anti-worker candidates for top positions in the administration.
• Appointed employer-side lawyers as NLRB’s majority as attack dogs against workers.
• Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia, built his career representing corporations and fighting worker protections like health and safety, retirement security and collective bargaining rights.
• Wage and Hour Division chief Cheryl Stanton, who is responsible for enforcing our nation’s basic wage protections, spent her career defending employers against workers in wage and hour cases.
D. Letting employers hide union-avoidance consultants
The Trump Labor Department repealed rules requiring employers to disclose the companies they hire and how much they pay them to fight worker organizing campaigns. The Economic Policy Institute estimates that employers spend $340 million per year to help prevent employees from organizing.
E. Undercutting freedoms to organize
With the addition of Trump nominee Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, the Court ruled 5–4 in favor of the Trump administration’s effort to eliminate bargaining in the public sector over “fair share” dues allowing “freeloaders” to take advantage of the union contract without paying a penny for its costs. The ruling overturned 40 years of precedent and thousands of fair-share arrangements.
F. Denying student employees law protections
Trump’s NLRB proposed a rule to strip student workers at private universities of their right to organize and bargain. The immediate impact: taking away the collective bargaining rights of the roughly 57,500 working graduate assistants.
REWARDING BAD EMPLOYERS
G. Passing businesses anti-worker wish list
The Trump NLRB rubberstamped rules supporting the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s top ten demands to weaken workers’ ability to organize and bargain with their employers. The “fixes” stripped workers of their rights and increased the boss’s control of America’s workplace. Most are highlighted in this special report on pages 8B and 9B.
H. Awarding contract to employers violating the law
President Trump signed a resolution blocking the implementation of the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces rule ensuring taxpayer dollars are not awarded to contractors violating workplace safety and other labor protections.
SHIFTING WEALTH FROM WORKERS TO EMPLOYERS
I. Massive tax cut to the ultra-wealthy
The signature legislative achievement of the Trump administration was the so-called Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). It not only was a large tax cut for corporations, it gave the 400 wealthiest people a lower tax rate than any other group. The TCJA’s permanent effects will see the top 1% of households, ranked by income, claim a full 83 percent of the law’s benefits.