13 thoughts on “United States workers prepare anti-Trump May Day

  1. http://thehill.com/regulation/325963-trump-repeals-blacklisting-rule
    > Trump repeals ‘blacklisting rule’
    > President Trump repealed the so-called “blacklisting rule” Monday that required federal contractors to disclose labor violations.
    > The Obama-era rule was intended to prevent the government from contracting with businesses responsible for wage theft or workplace safety violations at any point within the last three years. But business groups feared it gave unions the upper hand at the bargaining table.
    > Trump struck down the blacklisting rule, along with three other regulations aimed at protecting the environment and students , Monday afternoon during a White House signing ceremony.
    > The other regulations Trump overturned include the Interior Department’s land use rule, as well as the Education Department’s rules for teacher preparation and school accountability.
    > The regulatory repeals provide a much-needed distraction for the White House, as Republicans look to quickly turn the page on their failed attempt to eliminate ObamaCare.
    > “Only one [other] time in our history did a president sign a bill to cancel federal regulations,” Trump told a roomful of Republican lawmakers as he touted their accomplishment.
    > Employers were particularly concerned about the blacklisting rule.
    > “The rule violated the due process rights of contractors by forcing them to report mere allegations of misconduct — which are often frivolous and filed with nefarious intentions by special interest groups,” said Ben Brubeck, vice president of regulatory affairs at the Associated Builders and Contractors.
    > But repealing the blacklisting rule could raise labor concerns for Trump, as many of the working-class voters who supported the president last November may see it as a betrayal of one of his central campaign promises to improve their wages and working conditions.
    > “The message Donald Trump is sending today is that there are no consequences for companies who break American Labor law,” said Joseph Geevarghese, executive director of Good Jobs Nation, which is part of the movement lobbying for a $15 federal minimum wage.
    > President Obama’s executive order calling for the blacklisting rule was partly inspired by the Chemical Safety Board, an independent agency that recommended “additional contractor responsibility” in a 2013 report.
    > But in opposition to efforts from the Trump administration and Republican lawmakers, the Chemical Safety Board said earlier this month that it is “unacceptable” the rule is falling apart.
    > Republicans lawmakers voted to strike down these regulations through the Congressional Review Act, which allows certain regulations to be undone while preventing the minority in the Senate from using the filibuster.
    > Before Trump, the seldom-used law had only be used successfully once in 2001 when then-President George W. Bush repealed a Clinton-era labor regulation.
    > Since January, Trump has repealed seven regulations under the Congressional Review Act, with more expected in the coming weeks.
    > Amit Narang, regulatory policy advocate at the left-leaning Public Citizen, accused Republicans of challenging “every rule under the sun.”
    > James Goodwin, senior regulatory policy analyst at the Center for Progressive Reform, criticized GOP lawmakers for the “orgy of Congressional Review Act resolutions” they are sending to Trump.
    > “It’s an incredibly reckless approach to congressional oversight,” Goodwin said. “We’re talking about rules that have been in the works for four, five, six, seven years. They’re lining them up for repeal, even though they probably have no idea what they do or which agency they came from.”
    > “That sort of thoughtful deliberation has fallen by the wayside for too many Republicans,” he said.
    > Sam Batkins, director of regulatory policy at the conservative American Action Forum, admitted the Congressional Review Act is a “pretty blunt instrument,” because it not only repeals these regulations, but it also prohibits future presidents from issuing similar rules.
    > What has surprised Batkins and other conservatives are the number of obscure rules Congress is repealing this way.
    > “One thing I was struck by is that some of the regulations being repealed are not things that were on my radar,” said Susan Dudley, the former administrator of the White House’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs under President George W. Bush.
    > Even in her post-White House days, Dudley keeps a good handle on the regulations making their way through the federal government. “Some of these rules I expected them to repeal, but others I did not,” she said.


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  9. Wed Dec 27, 2017 8:07 pm (PST) . Posted by:
    “raccoon” redwoodsaurus


    His revamped labor board issued a slew of new policies at the end of 2017 that will make collective bargaining harder.

    Candidate Donald Trump pitched himself as the right choice for union workers. He bragged that he’d had good relations with labor unions during his real estate career. He argued that he deserved the AFL-CIO labor federation’s electoral endorsement, which ultimately went to his opponent, Hillary Clinton.

    But in less than a year as president, Trump has wiped away several of the modest policy gains that organized labor made during the Obama years. The nominees he’s chosen to fill crucial regulatory roles are already making it more difficult for some workers to join unions and bargain collectively.

    These policy reversals have drawn enthusiastic cheers from business lobbies and made a joke of one of Trump’s campaign boasts: “I have great relationships with unions .” Meanwhile, union ranks are hovering near historic lows .

    In the last weeks of 2017, the National Labor Relations Board issued a slew of decisions that rolled back worker- and union-friendly reforms from the preceding eight years. The NLRB is the independent federal agency responsible for interpreting collective bargaining law and refereeing disputes between employers, unions and workers.

    The new rulings were made possible by Trump’s two nominees to the five-member NLRB ― William Emanuel and Marvin Kaplan ― which flipped the board’s majority from liberal to conservative. The board managed to get several contentious decisions out the door before Dec. 16, when the term of the third Republican member, Philip Miscimarra, expired, deadlocking the board at 2-2.

    In one of the most consequential changes, the NLRB reversed a 2011 ruling that helped workers form smaller unions within a single larger workplace. The precedent set during the Obama years allowed, say, nursing home assistants to hold a union election without including all the facility’s dietary aides, maintenance workers and other employees who don’t share similar job duties, wages and gripes with management.

    Employers hated that standard, complaining that it led to “micro unions.” By overturning it, the Trump-shaped board made organizing workers at a large facility a far more daunting task. Consider the case they ruled on: After 100 welders unionized at a manufacturing plant, the NLRB found the smaller organizing unit to be illegitimate and said any union election would have to include all 2,500 different types of workers at the company, spanning 120 job classifications.

    The board ruled 3-2 along partisan lines in the case. The two dissenting Democratic members said it was “unconscionable” for the Republican majority to make such a sweeping change without at least soliciting briefs from unions and employers. “It is a dereliction of the duty we owe to the parties and the labor-management community,” they wrote.

    It goes against everything President Trump promised working people during the campaign. Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.)
    The Republican majority took an ax to another major precedent set during the Obama years known as the “joint employer” standard.

    Back in 2015, the NLRB ruled that companies can’t dodge their responsibilities to their workers just by outsourcing management duties to subcontractors or franchisees. The ruling made it easier for workers to file labor complaints against big companies like McDonald’s, which claim they aren’t the employers of the masses of people who labor at their franchise restaurants. The ruling also opened the door for fast food workers to potentially unionize in large groups, rather than store by store.

    But the new board flipped that decision, reverting the joint employer test to a standard more favorable to fast-food chains and other big companies that contract out work. McDonald’s is likely to benefit almost immediately in a current case over its responsibilities as a potential joint employer.

    Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), the top Democrat on the Senate committee overseeing the NLRB, said in a statement that the change in the joint employer standard would make it harder for workers to bargain for higher wages. “And it goes against everything President Trump promised working people during the campaign,” she added.

    In addition to the two board members, Trump has also chosen a new NLRB general counsel, who functions as a kind of prosecutor and brings cases before the board. While President Barack Obama’s nominees aggressively pursued employers for unfair labor practices, Trump’s pick, Peter Robb, has already signaled that he intends to unwind much of what his predecessors did.

    In a December memo first reported by HuffPost, Robb told the agency’s regional directors that any expansion of workers’ rights under Obama was effectively on hold for now. He also rescinded several guidance memos that were issued under the previous more-liberal board and that employers argued were too favorable to unions and workers. Robb had represented employers and business groups in labor and employment disputes as a private attorney before Trump plucked him for the general counsel’s position.

    For now, the deadlocked NLRB won’t be able to rule on contentious cases, making it unlikely that other Obama-era policies will be undone in the near future. But Trump will have the chance to nominate a fifth member to the board in 2018. The GOP Congress will need only a simple majority to confirm the nominee and give the board a 3-2 Republican majority once again


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