As HR and employee relations professionals, we all want a better understanding of how President Donald Trump views American workers. When it comes to worker issues, we have seen two sides of the new president.
Stance on employment issues
Prolabor. The public perception is that Trump is prolabor, largely as a result of the highly publicized announcement in 2016 that he helped save 800 jobs at Carrier Corporation in Indianapolis. In addition, he has staked out antitrade positions on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), again favoring more jobs in the United States, which is decidedly prolabor. However, the repeal of NAFTA and termination of the TPP could also create a backlash if foreign countries decide not to buy American products and services. That would be bad for U.S. jobs.
Probusiness. On the flip side, Trump is unabashedly probusiness and antiregulation. He has said that he wants to loosen federal regulations and laws that are designed to protect workers in the United States. So are his proemployee and antiemployee positions mutually exclusive, or can the president’s seemingly contradictory positions coexist?
Minimum wage. The president’s views on minimum wage are contradictory. He has said he wants to increase the national minimum wage to $10 per hour, but he has also said that wages are too high.
Effect on employers
So how does all of that affect you, as an employer?
Our workforce should reflect our society at large. Our population is becoming more diverse each year, and employers should embrace that change instead of being afraid of it. Managers should pay close attention to policy decisions coming from the Trump administration on the following key issues:
The next four years will be very different. HR and employee relations professionals need to pay close attention to what is ahead.