On Two Years of Trump and the Damage Done to America’s Workers

Washington, DC—Following is a statement from Christine Owens, executive director of the National Employment Law Project:

“In his two years in office, President Donald Trump has taken our country backwards in ways that undermine America’s working people and tear at the moral fabric of our nation.

“He has damaged our country by, among other things, shamelessly stoking fear and hatred for political purposes; giving cover and encouragement to white supremacists; and attempting to demonize and dehumanize immigrant families, to the point of separating thousands of immigrant children from their parents.

“Moreover, the president continues to regularly issue streams of falsehoods with no regard for facts or truth, and has handed over policymaking to wealthy corporate special interests who use their positions of power to put corporate profits and tax breaks for the rich ahead of the public good.

“In the past year alone, the Trump administration has promoted that corporate agenda at the expense of working people in numerous ways—by proposing to roll back child labor protections in the health care industry; encouraging federal officials to relax rules that protect Americans from discrimination; proposing greater barriers for low-income families to receive food assistance; and using the NLRB to try to curtail workers’ ability to join together to bargain for better wages and working conditions, to name just a few of the administration’s anti-worker initiatives.

(For a more comprehensive review of the Trump administration’s policy initiatives affecting workers during his two years in office, visit NELP’s “Putting Workers First?” tracker at www.nelp.org/tracker.)

“And lest we forget: the president is responsible for the longest shutdown of the federal government in our nation’s history, throwing 800,000 federal workers and millions more contract workers out of work or forcing them to work without pay for 35 days. Large numbers of workers who were not directly affected by the shutdown were indirectly burdened, as local businesses and entrepreneurs abruptly faced declining demand for goods and services during the normally busy post-holiday season.

“If the president continues to play brinksmanship games, such as threatening to declare a national emergency over a border wall and threatening yet another government shutdown, the harm already done to federal workers, contract workers, and the businesses that serve them will only be made worse.

“The president’s threat to declare a national emergency over a border wall is a dangerous stunt that sets a terrible precedent. It has nothing to do with improving border security and everything to do with the 2020 elections.

“During his inauguration, President Trump stood before the American people and declared, ‘Every decision . . . will be made to benefit American workers.’ Two years later, we have a clear record of policies and actions with which the American people can decide for themselves whether this president and his administration are really ‘putting workers first.’”




The National Employment Law Project is a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization that conducts research and advocates on issues affecting low-wage and unemployed workers. For more about NELP, visit www.nelp.org. Follow NELP on Twitter at @NelpNews.

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