FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
December 9, 2016
CONTACT: Liz Cattaneo, liz(at)jwj.org, 202-352-3263
Washington D.C. – Following the announcement that President-elect Donald Trump has picked Andrew Puzder, the head of the Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s fast-food restaurants, as his nominee for Labor Secretary, Jobs With Justice Executive Director Sarita Gupta issued the following statement:
“Americans want the freedom to earn a fair return on their work and an end to profitable corporations and lobbyists rigging the rules while expecting working people to do more with less. Andrew Puzder’s beliefs and actions demonstrate contempt and disrespect for the basics of what working people need to lead a decent life.
“How can the American people trust the textbook definition of a bad boss to safeguard their rights and enforce labor laws at the helm of the Department of Labor? The millionaire fast-food giant has repeatedly argued against increases to the minimum wage or overtime pay for the people who make his chain so successful. Andrew Puzder has complained about the need for providing rest breaks and meal breaks in the workplace. And 60 percent of Labor Department investigations into his Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. restaurants have found at least one wage and hour violation.
“Andrew Puzder peddles the extreme idea that raising wages could somehow hurt our country, while study after study finds that increased minimum wages boost the bottom lines of working people and Main Streets. Our country cannot afford a Labor Secretary who refuses to recognize the real struggles of what tens of millions of people go through to put food on the table.
“There is also a clear disconnect between President-elect Trump’s economic priorities and his nominee’s record of low wages and job-killing policies. While running for office, Donald Trump promised to hold all of his economic decisions to one main test, ‘Does it create more jobs and better wages for Americans?’ Yet, Andrew Puzder, as CEO of CKE Restaurants, has continually opposed minimum wage increases at the federal, state and local level, and pushed for workplace automation.
“Working people are coming together in record numbers to push for family-sustaining workplaces and protest the untenable conditions that Puzder maintains in his restaurants. And voters overwhelmingly endorsed minimum wage raises and paid sick leave measures in all four states where the issue was on the ballot in November. If either Donald Trump or Andrew Puzder care to improve the quality of jobs in this country, the answers are right in front of them. If not, they should expect working people to fight their low-road vision for America every step of the way.”