What’s Next for Traditional Labor with President-Elect Trump in Office?
President-elect Trump’s strong base with blue collar workers helped him win yesterday’s election, despite significant union backing for Hillary Clinton during the campaign. Trump has not, however, revealed details on how he plans to address issues of interest to the unionized workforce beyond backing out of international trade treaties, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and enticing businesses to return jobs to the United States via the use of tax incentives. Despite his blue collar support base, President-elect Trump is unlikely to support significant pro-labor legislation or regulation that may be viewed as impeding or hindering businesses. For example, expect no support from the Trump administration for the Employee Free Choice Act, which would expand opportunities for unions to enter previously union-free workplaces and place additional obligations on employers bargaining with already-established unions.
As noted earlier, President-elect Trump is also unlikely to engage in or endorse continued federal labor and employment agency activism in wage and hour or other worker-related issues. As an acknowledged user of labor consultants in his private businesses, President-elect Trump may repeal or revise the DOL’s persuader final rule requiring public disclosures of and by labor consultants (e.g., lawyers, law firms, and public relations firms) paid to help businesses inform employees about the effects of unionization. The Trump administration, supported by the Senate, will likely nominate and confirm a “business-friendly” candidate to fill Kent Y. Hirozawa’s vacancy on the NLRB.