The complaint details numerous ways U.S. labor law and enforcement are failing workers, and spotlights their further weakening under Trump.
And it charges the United States with violating workers’ rights in terms not typically associated with well-off countries, at one point saying the bind many essential workers have been placed in during the pandemic — forced to risk infection or lose their jobs and potentially unemployment benefits — amounts to a system of forced labor.
The complaint is another sign of the frustration over the treatment of workers under the Trump administration, and it places the United States in the realm of potential wrongdoing typically occupied by less-developed and less-democratic countries.
“Covid has laid bare what we already knew,” Richard Trumka, the president of the AFL-CIO said in an interview. “It has demonstrated that not only is the U.S. violating workers’ rights, but those violations are resulting in people dying.