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Trump’s Policies Toward Workers: Drop Dead

WASHINGTON - As Labor Day approaches, President Donald Trump has betrayed promises that he made as a candidate to protect workers, according to a report (PDF) released today by Public Citizen. Instead, the administration has systematically dismantled worker safeguards, while failing to address growing hazards, signaling to workers: drop dead.

In June 2016, candidate Trump promised, “The American worker will finally have a president who will protect them and fight for them.” But since becoming president, Trump has followed the dictates of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, rolling back fundamental protections at the U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), the report shows.

“Trump has betrayed America’s workforce, sacrificing lives at the altar of industry profits,” said Shanna Devine, worker health and safety advocate for Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division and author of the report. “Shamefully, the resources the administration has used to carry out the Chamber’s anti-worker agenda could have been spent advancing lifesaving protections.”

The Trump administration has delayed and rolled back long-awaited regulations, including protections against cancer-causing beryllium. It also has thrown the agency into a staffing crisis, cut back on workplace inspections in underserved states, hampered enforcement activity and jettisoned critical federal advisory committees.

The report points out that there are many hazards that OSHA could address if the administration were not so intent on dismantling the regulatory system. For instance, it could protect workers from rising temperatures, health care employees from injuries related to handling patients and meatpacking workers from excessive line speeds. OSHA has recognized each of these examples as posing threats to workers.

Read the report (PDF) for more details.


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Public Citizen is a national, nonprofit consumer advocacy organization founded in 1971 to represent consumer interests in Congress, the executive branch and the courts.

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