To GOP Cheers, Trump Dumps Fair Play and Safe Workplaces Rule

Mark Gruenberg

Mark Gruenberg Editor, Press Associates Union News

To Republican cheers, GOP President Donald Trump signed legislation on March 27 dumping the Obama administration’s Fair Play and Safe Workplaces rule, for good.

His decision leaves federal contractors free to disobey labor laws, job safety laws and even paying their taxes without the fear of having the feds yank their business away.

Elimination of the rule is important since the federal government annually awards billions of dollars in contracts, and past studies show many such pacts went to labor law-breakers and/or corporate tax evaders. One recent study, by Demos, showed 40 percent of federal contractors broke labor or job safety laws.

“Every worker deserves strong protections on the job,” said Teamsters President Jim Hoffa. “The Fair Play and Safe Workplaces Executive Order” – which the Labor Department’s rules implemented – “not only protected workers at federal contractors but ensured our tax dollars were not going to be given to companies that violate labor law.”

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Posted In: Allied Approaches

Union Matters

Saving the Nation’s Parks

From the USW

From tumbledown bridges to decrepit roads and failing water systems, crumbling infrastructure undermines America’s safety and prosperity. In coming weeks, Union Matters will delve into this neglect and the urgent need for a rebuilding campaign that creates jobs, fuels economic growth and revitalizes communities. 

The wildfires ravaging the West Coast not only pose imminent danger to iconic national parks like Crater Lake in Oregon and the Redwoods in California, but threaten the future of all of America’s beloved scenic places.

As climate change fuels the federal government’s need to spend more of National Park Service (NPS) and U.S. Forest Service budgets on wildfire suppression, massive maintenance backlogs and decrepit infrastructure threaten the entire system of national parks and forests.

A long-overdue infusion of funds into the roads, bridges, tunnels, dams and marinas in these treasured spaces would generate jobs and preserve landmark sites for generations to come.

The infrastructure networks in the nation’s parks long have failed to meet modern-day demand. The American Society of Civil Engineers gave parks a D+ rating in its 2017 infrastructure report card, citing chronic underfunding and deferred maintenance.

Just this year, a large portion of the Blue Ridge Parkway, which is owned and managed by the NPS, collapsed due to heavy rains and slope failures. Projects to prevent disasters like this one get pushed further down the road as wildfire management squeezes agency budgets more each year.

Congress recently passed the Great American Outdoors Act,  allocating billions in new funding for the NPS.

But that’s just a first step in a long yet vital process to bring parks and forests to 21st-century standards. America’s big, open spaces cannot afford to suffer additional neglect.

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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work