Unacceptable: Andrew Puzder as Secretary of Labor
Appointment will threaten wages, working conditions, and the right to organize.
President Donald Trump has nominated fast-food CEO Andrew Puzder as Secretary of Labor. This nomination requires confirmation by the US Senate, a process that will begin with hearings conducted by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions on February 2. The process will continue with a committee vote and then a full Senate vote shortly thereafter.
What does the Secretary of Labor do?
- The Secretary of Labor runs the US Department of Labor, whose mission is “to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights” (from Department website).
Why is Andrew Puzder unacceptable?
- The Department of Labor should be led by someone who understands and cares about the concerns of working people, not someone who has built his career on exploiting them.
- Puzder is CEO of the company that operates Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s restaurants. He has no relevant qualifications to run the Department of Labor. To the contrary, his restaurants have repeatedly been cited by this very department for wage theft, failure to pay overtime, and other violations. Over the past seven years, 60% of the Department’s inspections at Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s restaurants found such violations.
- Puzder himself has repeatedly opposed increasing the minimum wage, objected to the Obama administration’s tightening of overtime rules and expansion of sick leave benefits, and called for the repeal of Obamacare.
- Speaking to Business Insider in 2016, Puzder said that increased automation could be a welcome development because machines were “always polite, they always upsell, they never take a vacation, they never show up late, there’s never a slip-and-fall or an age, sex or race discrimination case.”
- Puzder’s nomination is bad for unions, bad for workers, and bad for the country. It is yet another sign of Trump’s determination to surround himself with a gallery of millionaires and billionaires.
What can I do?
- Stop Puzder now! Call your US Senators and urge them to speak out forcefully in opposition to his nomination.
- Senator Charles Schumer (Syracuse office): (315) 423-5471
- Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (Syracuse office): (315) 448-0470
- Join the CNY Solidarity Coalition. We meet most Sundays at 3pm, and all are welcome. For more info: (315) 472-5478, CNYSolidarity@gmail.com, https://cnysolidarity.org/, https://www.facebook.com/cnysolidarity/, @IndivisibleNY24, @CNYSolidarity.