The AFL-CIO remains hopeful the upcoming election will yield major victories for organized labor.
AFL-CIO Director of Government Affairs Bill Samuel discussed what is currently happening in Washington prior to the election and what he expects after the election on America’s Work Force Union Podcast.
Due to a failure in leadership, Samuel is doubtful there will be any help for working class families until after the election. He believes the President is incapable of getting his party and his administration on the same page, as stimulus talks have been bogged down by conflicting messaging.
Despite Democrats having released two different bills and are coordinating with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the Republicans are more interested in ramming through a Supreme Court nominee weeks before the election. Republicans would rather use a stimulus package as an election bargaining chip than as a way to help suffering Americans.
Beyond petty politics, Samuel said stimulus talks are being hung up by the amount of funding to state and local governments. President Trump does not want to send aid to states and localities who voted against him.
Additionally, Democrats are insisting on worker protections, while Republicans are insisting on corporate liability protections.
Industry deregulation and worker safety
According to Samuel, the Trump administration is working quicker than before on deregulation measures. He said they are shortening public comment periods on rule changes and rushing to do as much as possible, at the detriment of workers.
Samuel explained how the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has been decimated by the administration.
The cuts have left OHSA unable to perform inspections and protect workers. It is why only two percent of COVID-19 worker complaints have been resolved. Samuel said it is typical for Republicans to reduce worker safety measures in favor of employers.
The AFL-CIO is already planning to counter this damage to working people under an expected Biden administration. They have been writing policy papers, giving policy recommendations and working with the campaign on how they will help working people.
However, he added the first order of business is for Biden to win the election.