The Obama Administration went out of its way to protect workers from shady employers who cheated them on wages and ignored safety regulations that protected them from injuries.
Now, President Trump has signed a bill that repeals the Fair Pay And Safe Workplaces rule enacted by Obama, allowing companies with long records of stealing wages and ignoring workplace safety regulations to once again keep their government contracts.
President Obama felt it was only fitting that companies engaging in deceptive and unhealthy practices be barred from receiving federal funds if they don’t comply with the federal laws protecting their employees. Trump and his Republican-led congress obviously disagree.
According to labor policy expert Heidi Shierholz of the Economic Policy Institute in the Huffington Post:
“When President Trump has a chance to stand with workers, he chooses not to. By blocking this rule, the president and congressional Republicans will ensure that taxpayers will continue to support contractors with a history of wage theft and health and safety violations.”
Trump and his Republican cronies have been repealing regulations left and right since inauguration day, with the President issuing an order that for every new restriction on corporate conduct that a federal agency approves, they must repeal two others.
The legislation that Trump signed was sent to him by the Senate under the little-known Congressional Review Act, which allows the legislature to quickly overturn executive branch regulations and prevents them from being reinstated by any government agency without a new law from Congress itself.
This completely arbitrary order means that regulations are not being evaluated on their merits nor on how they benefit the American people, but it simply assumes that regulations are bad and need to be reduced and eventually eliminated.
Hopefully, Trump’s actions benefiting corporations over working people will begin to teach his blue-collar supporters whose side he’s really on.
Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.