While it is often posited that Donald Trump’s voting support came from the working class, the POTUS continues to make it clear that he sides with their bosses.
In another rollback on regulation, Donald Trump has signed legislation that would undo the Fair Play and Safe Workplaces rule. The now-undone regulation was an executive order signed by former President Obama; one of the few moves on the part of the former Obama Administration which sought to aid American workers. The Fair Play and Safe Workplaces rule had two main goals: the first was to encourage bosses to abide by the labor rules and regulations already in place by having businesses bidding for federal contracts list all workplace safety and wage violations for the previous three years before the bid. This regulation, however, would not stop a business from getting a federal contract, but would impress on them the need to fix the issues listed.
Even with the rule in place, workers across many industries from production to the service sector would often find themselves working longer hours without compensation, being faced with deductions to their wages, and being assigned tasks outside of their hired job. The regulation was able to hold a large number of these businesses accountable to correct these violations if they were to receive the a federal contract. Of course, one may ask why a bill was needed to “encourage” businesses to follow the law instead of holding them accountable for following the laws and regulation as it was.
The Department of Labor estimates that 14,000 federally contracted business will be left unaccountable for dangerous work spaces and wage theft. The same tax money that the American worker pays will now be going to the very businesses that will steal more and more from the worker while putting them into direct danger by not having to enforce safety regulations. This also allows for the increase of “absolute surplus value” (value stolen from the workers by an increase in the working day or wage cuts) to be stolen from the worker. Violations of the minimum wage, longer hours without compensation, and the expected performance of workers to labor at unhired tasks will see an increase not seen since the Reagan era. All the while, the continuing stealing of “relative surplus value” (the amount of time a worker gives to the capitalist beyond the socially necessary labor they sell to the capitalist for a wage) continues to increase just as it has over the past century.
In the period of reaction the world finds itself living in, it is easy to imagine that this is just the tip of a much larger iceberg. The current administration with its Republican-held congress have already done away with other regulations from the past, and many more are on the Congress floor. While these regulations never had any attention of putting workers in power, they have helped aid the worker against the exploitation they face in the capitalist system, even if only by a small degree. The organization of the working class in America is the most important means of change in this country. Without even basic organization the simple enforcement of safety regulations have already been thrown out the window. The worker continues to work more and more for less and less while the cost of living goes up and up. Only the united force of the working class can break the power of the capitalists and the politicians that serve as the face for their agenda.