Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Trump's Team of Terribles: Andrew Puzder

by Pa Rock
Citizen Journalist

Andrew Puzder, the man Donald Trump wants to be his Secretary of Labor, is not someone who is likely to advocate for America's low-wage workers.  He is, in fact, someone who profits from the desperate circumstances in which so many in this country find themselves.

Puzder, by training a lawyer who helped to craft one of Missouri's most draconian anti-abortion laws, took an early career detour into the corporate world where he eventually rose to become CEO of CKE Restaurants, a position he still holds.  CKE Restaurants is the parent organization of Hardee's and Carl's Jr, a pair of ubiquitous fast food franchises that thrive off of the labors of minimally-paid employees.

But while Puzder's personal fortune may have accumulated on the backs of hard-working poor people,  he, like his future boss, balks when it comes to fairly compensating his employees for their time and toil.  Andy Puzder is on the record as opposing a federal minimum wage, and he has said that if wages rise too high, he would consider replacing his employees with robots.

Nice one, Mr. Secretary of Labor.  Full employment for machines.  Have you looked into doing home delivery with drones?

Six years ago Puzder co-authored a book with a business professor that was sharply critical of government regulations and labor unions.   Puzder's companies also have some long-standing issues with women.  By one estimate nearly two-thirds of the female employees in his restaurants have experienced sexual harassment at work.

All in all, Andy Puzder doesn't come across as someone who will be able to identify with (or be sympathetic to) people who flip burgers for a living.  His interests and his loyalties are far more likely to be aligned with those who profit off of American labor - not with those who perform it.

Andrew Puzder might be an acceptable fit for Secretary of Commerce, but it is hard to picture him effectively advocating for working Americans.

The United States Senate needs to reject nomination of Andrew Puzder to be Secretary of Labor.  His selection to that post would be an affront to the millions of Americans who perform the jobs that really do make our country great and keep it running.  American workers need safe environments in which to work, health benefits, fair compensation, and good retirement packages - and not another rich guy trying to make their lives even more miserable than they already are.

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