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Trump administration is America’s No. 1 low-wage job creator

Trump administration is America’s No. 1 low-wage job creator
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When Donald Trump ran for president, he promised to be a workers’ champion who would deliver  “better wages” for America’s working people.

But 18 months into his first term, President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from Gillum and DeSantis’s first debate GOP warns economy will tank if Dems win Gorbachev calls Trump's withdrawal from arms treaty 'a mistake' MORE has neither pushed Congress to take legislative action to raise the federal minimum wage - which has been stuck at $7.25 for a decade - nor taken executive action to boost pay for 12.5 million workers who work in private sector jobs.

As a result, Trump is now CEO of America’s top creator of poverty jobs:  the U.S. government.

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A new study from Good Jobs Nation - Promises Broken #1 - shows that Trump’s federal government funds more than 4.5 million jobs in the private sector that pay less than a living wage of $15 per hour.  By failing to take action to raise wages, Trump is responsible for more low-wage jobs than our nation’s largest 20 employers combined, according to our research.

 

As a result, more than one in three private sector workers who serve the American people - from aiding seniors with their Medicare benefits to helping our troops prepare for combat - earn so little that they rely on food stamps and other public assistance programs to survive.

The truth is that Trump could take action right now to deliver “better wages” for these workers.  All it would take is the stroke of the pen.  

As CEO of America, Inc., President Trump oversees the more than $1.5 trillion of federal tax dollars spent in the private sector each year.  He could mandate that these taxpayer dollars go to corporations that create good living wage jobs for America’s workers.  In 2014, President Obama took the first step by signing an executive order to raise the minimum wage on federal contracts to $10.10 an hour declaring that  “as a chief executive, I intend to lead by example.”  Trump could build on this precedent and deliver on his promises to boost wages for working people.

But Trump has yet to turn his campaign rhetoric into reality.  In fact, instead of raising wages for these workers, Trump is using his executive power to do the exact opposite.  

In one of his first acts in office, Trump rolled back an executive order that would have protected 20 million contract workers from wage theft and other labor law violations.   Since then, he’s also rescinded regulations that would have extended overtime pay to more than 12.5 million workers, and issued directives to undermine the power of workers to collectively bargain for better wages.

And earlier this month, Trump took executive action to actually lower the minimum wage for contract workers  who serve as guides and outfitters in America’s National Parks.

Ahead of the 2018 midterms, Trump’s campaigning on the slogan “Promises Made, Promises Kept” to hold on to the working-class voters who propelled him to victory.   When it comes to raising wages, America’s workers deserve to hear the truth: Promise broken.

Joseph Geevarghese is an attorney and executive director of Good Jobs Nation, a worker rights advocacy organization which is part of the Change to Win labor coalition, which includes SEIU and other unions.