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Anti-Labor Andrew Puzder for Sec. of Labor

February 5, 2017


Which is the most cynical nomination?  Scott Pruitt for EPA? DeVos for Education?  Price for HHS? Ben Carson for HUD? Sessions for Justice? Rick Perry for Energy? So hard to choose!

But naming Andrew Puzder for Secretary of Labor has to be right up there. Here’s a man who has opposed increases in the minimum wage and expanding eligibility for overtime. He has criticized paid sick leave policies for workers, and claimed that the Affordable Care Act had created a “government-mandated restaurant recession”, something visible to virtually no one else. He thinks further automation is a great thing because machines are “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.”

The president of the AFL-CIO says Puzder’s “business record is defined by fighting against working people.” As secretary of labor, he would be responsible for investigating  violations of minimum wage, overtime and worker safety laws and regulations.  Puzder’s company owns Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. fastfood restaurants, many of which have been investigated over the past 15 years for just such violations. According to the Washington Post, his companies have been hit with more federal discrimination lawsuits than any of their domestic competitors.

According to the New York Times, Puzder has been doing battle with labor regulators since 1983 when he worked for “a law firm owned by a famous mob lawyer and casino owner whom the Labor Department accused of squandering $25 million from his union workers’ pension funds on sham investments.” It’s a long and complicated story, but you can read it all here.

You might also want to watch this video.

In sum, it’s really hard to see how Puzder could possibly serve as an advocate for the rights and interests of American workers. His vision for them is dead-end, minimum wage, minimum benefit, fastfood jobs that boost corporate profits and CEO packages while leaving workers unable to afford a middle-class life.

If anyone deserves to be rejected in the confirmation hearings, he does.

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