Outten & Golden: Empowering Employees in the Workplace

House Democrats oppose extreme anti-worker Labor nominee, this week in the war on workers

August 12th, 2019 | Laura Clawson

Nearly 30 House Democrats sent Donald Trump a letter “to express our strong concerns” about the nomination of Eugene Scalia as labor secretary. “We believe Mr. Scalia’s consistent record of opposing workers’ rights disqualifies him from heading the Department designed to protect American workers,” the letter, led by Michigan Rep. Andy Levin, reads. “We urge instead that you put forward a nominee who will improve working conditions across the United States, defend workers’ rights, and raise the standard of living for working people.”

The members of Congress offer a number of examples of the work that has disqualified Scalia from ever claiming to have the welfare of workers in mind. Among them:

  • Mr. Scalia fiercely opposed a Clinton administration regulation to protect workers from repetitive stress injuries and issues like carpal tunnel syndrome, arguing “that ergonomic regulation will force companies to give more rest periods, slow the pace of work and then hire more workers (read: dues-paying members) to maintain current levels of production.” […]
  • Mr. Scalia represented SeaWorld after a killer whale killed trainer Dawn Brancheau in 2010. While the Occupational Safety and Health Administration determined “SeaWorld either knew or should have known that the whale posed a threat to humans and should have taken steps to protect trainers,” Scalia and his colleagues claimed “SeaWorld already had adequate safety measures in place, and that the trainers had accepted the risks inherent in their jobs and that it was their responsibility to manage these risks.”

Perfect Trump nominee, in other words.

This blog was originally published at Daily Kos on August 10, 2019. Reprinted with permission.

About the Author: Laura Clawson is labor editor at Daily Kos.

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