OPINION: Monopoly man

Jobs is code for “deregulation”

Some people have said that the reason Grays Harbor voted Republican in the last election was because Democrats ignored the needs of everyday workers. Donald Trump frequently uttered the holy word “jobs” during his campaign, and thus won them over. Here’s how he and his party have followed through:

The US House of Representatives recently passed a bill called the “Working Families Flexibility Act of 2017” (H.R. 1180). The vote was 229 for, 197 against. Six independent thinking Republicans stood with the Democrats to oppose this assault on working people. A companion bill (S.801) is in the US Senate. Similar bills have been introduced during the Bush and Obama administrations, never getting to a President’s desk. Trump has said he will sign this version if it comes to him.

H.R. 1180 seeks to undo the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 that requires time and a half pay for work over forty hours a week. Under this new scheme, the worker would be paid straight time for whatever hours the employer demands, then receive paid time off (comp time) at the employer’s discretion. It is easy to see how this system can be manipulated by bosses to defraud the worker and enrich the company. Talk to your elders about what is was like before 1938. Democrats do not want to see the erosion of hard won worker protections. Fair minded Republicans don’t either, but they are a minority.

The word “jobs” is code for “deregulation” in Republican speak. If you were taken in by Trump’s promise of jobs, this bill might be right for you. Who needs a regulation that makes employers pay you what you are owed? Who needs a reliable system of employer/employee relations? Which party understands the necessity of regulation in the workplace? Which party has at least tries to stand with the little guy? Do you really believe Monopoly Man is going to get your coal mining job back? Your life and body are expendable to them. Don’t let them toss 79 years of reason out the window.

Robin Moore