Policy Matters Ohio anticipates wave of worker protections during Biden administration

The Trump administration has worked behind the scenes to rollback protections for workers, leaving the incoming Biden administration plenty of work to do.

Policy Matters Ohio Research Director Zach Schiller told the America’s Work Force Union Podcast audience that President-elect Biden will have an uphill battle trying to restore and implement many protections for workers. He also analyzed how the Trump administration has hurt workers.

What President-elect Biden needs to do for workers

After four years of the Trump administration, Schiller said work has been done to remove protections for workers, swinging the pendulum in favor of employers.

Taking both the Senate seats up for grabs in Georgia would eliminate the roadblock of a Republican Senate. The Biden administration will be able to efficiently make changes if Democrats retain the House and take the Senate.

Without taking the Senate, Schiller said it could be an uphill battle for President-elect Biden.

Despite this, Biden will be able to undo any Trump executive action with executive action of his own. The longer process will come when changing rules. These rule changes often require month-long comment periods and debate.

Restoring OSHA for workers

Additionally, Biden will have to work to restore the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which has conducted very few investigations and has levied a minimal amount of fines under President Trump.

This has been exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. OSHA has not issued any workplace rules for COVID-19, leaving it up to individual states to set rules.

Finally, Schiller commented on the situation that unfolded in Youngstown, OH when General Motors (GM) shut the doors at their Chevy plant, leaving many residents without jobs.

While there is a new electric truck battery plant coming to Youngstown, the jobs are not guaranteed to be union jobs. This means that workers can not expect to be paid the same wages and receive the same benefits they did when they worked at the Chevy plant.


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