Reprinted from George Washington University’s History News Network by Lawrence Wittner on February 18, 2017.
“When Donald Trump was running for the presidency, he promised that, if he was elected, ‘the American worker[s] will finally have a president who will protect them and fight for them,’” writes Lawrence Wittner in George Washington University’s History News Network. “Today, though, safely ensconced in the White House, President Trump is waging a fierce campaign against American workers
“His appointments to federal positions created to defend workers’ rights provide an indication of his priorities. For Secretary of Labor, Trump nominated Andrew Puzder, the CEO of a major fast food chain. When Puzder’s nomination was withdrawn amid allegations of labor law violations, Trump turned to Alexander Acosta, a figure with a long history of aligning with rightwing and corporate interests. As the new Labor Secretary, Acosta served as one of the stars at the annual gathering of the militantly anti-labor American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). For Deputy Secretary of Labor, Trump chose Patrick Pizzella, a former employee of the rabidly anti-union National Right to Work Committee who had lobbied against raising sweatshop-level wages.
“Other administration appointments had the same orientation. For Assistant Secretary of the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), Trump nominated David Zatezalo, a former CEO of a coal mining operation with serious mining violations. The Trump administration also took control of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) by appointing members with a record of opposing workers’ right to organize. Furthermore, Trump helped ensure an unsympathetic hearing for American workers in the courts by appointing new federal judges known for their deeply-ingrained rightwing views. …