The earlier Democratic administration of Jimmy Carter had enacted or proposed laws strengthening various employment requirements, together with these on occupational security and well being. Mr. Donovan withdrew or suspended them.
On the similar time, he sought to reverse decades-old legal guidelines prohibiting employees in a number of industries, just like the knitted outerwear enterprise, from working at dwelling, and to broaden the sorts of jobs and hours that 14- and 15-year-olds may legally work.
Labor leaders mentioned such steps would foster violations of minimal wage, youngster labor and different legal guidelines. Mr. Donovan countered, “We’re not slicing out any well being and security necessities significant to the protections of employees.” Somewhat, he mentioned, the Labor Division was “altering the strategy” to labor apply, scrapping what he known as a regulatory “police state mentality” that had prevented some America industries from being aggressive with their international counterparts.
Mr. Donovan, nonetheless, didn’t play a central decision-making position within the Reagan administration’s largest labor confrontation — over an unlawful strike in 1981 by a lot of the nation’s air site visitors controllers, for which the president fired them. The Transportation Division, not the Labor Division, took the lead on the federal government aspect as a result of the controllers labored for the Federal Aviation Administration, a part of the transportation company.
Mr. Donovan, who had grown rich within the building business earlier than becoming a member of the administration, held that his adolescence struggles and his working profession had given him perception, he mentioned, into “what employees’ wants are and what motivates them.”
Raymond James Donovan was born on Aug. 31, 1930, within the St. Andrew’s part of Bayonne, N.J., the seventh of 12 youngsters of David and Eleanor Donovan. Each dad and mom died by the point he was 18, leaving the older youngsters to lift the youthful ones.
Ray attended St. Andrew’s Faculty and St. Peter’s Prep in Jersey Metropolis, then went on to review at Holy Trinity Seminary in Alabama and the Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans, graduating in 1952. However as a substitute of going into the Roman Catholic priesthood, as he had thought-about, he returned to Bayonne. “It was my flip to handle the youthful ones,” he mentioned in a 1980 interview with The New York Occasions.