The winds shifted on unionization
The week before the election, Donald Trump’s attitude toward unions was captured in a decision from the National Labor Relations Board on the Republican’s response to a unionization effort at his Trump International Las Vegas casino-hotel.
Food and beverage employees had elected with co-workers from nearly every other department to be represented in contract negotiations by Unite Here, a major service union. Management of the hotel refused to deal with the union, alleging the employees’ vote for representation had been rigged.
The NLRB disagreed with the contention and directed the partnership operating the hotel to meet with the union. But Trump and his partners had laid their cards on the table.
Hillary Clinton, the defeated Democratic candidate, had maintained a strong pro-labor stance throughout her campaign.
Will the new overtime rules be scrapped?
Trump pledged in August to impose a moratorium on new agency regulations, repeal all existing regulations that impede job growth, and overturn the “overreaching” executive orders of President Barack Obama. In all, Trump said at one point, 70% to 80% of government regulations would be scrapped, a projection that experts have called unrealistic.
Uncertain would be the fate of some regulatory changes opposed by the restaurant industry. For instance, new overtime regulations were set by the U.S. Department of Labor as the result of an executive order from Obama. The updated rules go into effect on Dec. 1. But might Trump revoke them?
Obamacare is dead
In morning-after commentary, Trump’s handlers characterized the election in part as a referendum on the Affordable Care Act. Campaign Manager Kellyanne Conway said she anticipated that a wave of premium increases during October would drive voters into Trump’s camp, and said it was a clear factor for the Republican’s win.
Trump had vowed to begin the repeal of Obamacare on day one of his administration. CNBC.com reported this afternoon that the speculation on how it will be done has already begun. Among the theories put forth is cutting federal subsidies for premiums and other funding.
An estimated 22 million Americans would lose health insurance if the program was scrapped. Trump has said he'll develop a more feasible plan to replace it.
The restaurant industry has opposed Obamacare but supported some of its components, such as menu labeling. It was not clear if the nutrition disclosure provision would be scrapped along with the main elements of the ACA.
A cool compress for minimum wage fever
Trump has said he believes a minimum wage increase would make sense, but has said he’d prefer a new threshold around $10 an hour, not the $15 that unions are demanding.
He’s also said at times that the federal minimum wage should be abolished, but most consistently has championed a hands-off approach that would let states set the pay floor.
If Trump makes good on his promise to rewrite federal tax codes, restaurants stand to benefit in two ways. Their own rates would be reduced under his pledge to tax small businesses no more than 15% of their revenues. And collapsing individuals’ tax brackets into three broad swathes could leave consumers with more disposable income. The industry saw an upswing in sales when President George W. Bush cut taxes in 2001.
One specific levy that Trump has vowed to kill: the estate tax, dubbed the death tax by the restaurant industry and other trades with a high proportion of family-owned businesses. The stiff tax is levied on the estates that individuals bequeath to survivors.
The industry has strived to defeat or lower it. Trump has said he’ll repeal it outright and instead levy a capital gains tax on inherited estates exceeding $10 million.