Did You Vote For Unfair Pay and Unsafe Workplaces?

Who could be against fair pay and safe workplaces?  Give you one guess.

President Trump just signed a bill, passed by the Republicans in the House and Senate, that repealed President Obama’s Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces executive order.

“Fair pay and safe workplaces” says it all.  The rule stated that our government should contract with companies that have “a satisfactory record of integrity and business ethics.”

It required companies to report if they had violations of workplace laws covering wage theft, discrimination and safety, when applying for new government contracts of $500,000 to $1 million.  The federal procurement officers would take that into consideration, and work with the companies to remedy the problems.

That is what President Trump and the Republicans repealed.  This Trump/Republican government does not care if companies that have “a satisfactory record of integrity and business ethics.”  In fact, repealing this rule signals to companies that it is OK to “save money” by stealing pay from employees, violating their civil rights and threatening their safety.

This rule was a big deal, because companies that get federal contracts employ one in five American workers.

This is the Republicans, not just Trump.  This is who they are.

But, of course, the “working class” voters who helped elect Trump and the Republicans all voted for this, right?  They all clearly understood that electing Republicans meant that their pay and civil rights and job-safety were going to be rolled back so that the giant corporations could pass ever-higher profits to their “investors.”  Right?

Of course they did.  And they understood that the things our government does to make our lives better would be rolled back so that investor class could get huge tax cuts.  Right?  Of course they did.

But wait, there’s more.

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration’s (OSHA) “recordkeeping rule” is also under the gun.  This rule requires employers with more than 10 workers to keep records of safety incidents for five years. The Republicans in the Senate voted last week to gut that rule, too.

UAW President Dennis Williams called it “a slap to the face of American workers” and urged Trump to veto it.  Williams said if employers can legally dispose of incident records after six months, “it will be extremely difficult to identify and fix hazards and incident patterns that cause illnesses, severe injuries, or even deaths on the job.”

“It will now cross the desk of President Donald Trump, who is expected to sign it.”

But this is only right, because this is clearly what the country voted for.  Right?

Editor’s Note: This essay originally appeared at Campaign for America’s Future (CAF) at their Blog for OurFuture.  It also appeared on March 29, 2017 on Seeing the Forest, a website featuring commentary by Dave Johnson, frequent public speaker and talk-radio guest and a leading participant in the progressive blogging community.  It was reproduced here with the consent of Mr. Johnson.

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