***FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE***
December 8, 2016
Progressive Congress Statement: Trump’s Nomination of Andy Puzder as Secretary of Labor Is Anti-Workers, Anti-Union, and Anti-Labor Rights
Washington, D.C.-- Progressive Congress, a nonprofit inside-outside strategy organization that works closely with the Congressional Progressive Caucus, issued the following statement in response to President-elect Donald Trump’s nomination of Andy Puzder as Secretary of Labor:
“As the CEO of CKE Restaurants, Inc., the parent company of Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr., Andy Puzder, Donald Trump’s pick for Secretary of Labor, has a long track record of attacking unions and taking advantage of workers. As a Labor Secretary, he would be about as anti-worker as they come. As a fast food tycoon, he has had little incentive to create better working conditions for employees — the idea that he would preside over the labor protections of millions of American workers when he has fought against labor rights, is unacceptable.
As a corporate executive, Buzder balked at raising the minimum wage, claiming falsely that the minimum wage hurts small businesses and low-skilled workers. He has protested the notion of overtime pay and repeatedly spoken out against vital social service programs like SNAP, federal housing assistance and Medicaid while callously refusing to afford his own franchisee employees worker benefits. He views regulations as burdens — ironic for a man who might be tasked with heading a government agency — and he lacks any government experience that might have given him a better perspective on the wants and needs of Americans. He may gut labor rights, undo hard-won worker protections, and prioritize business interests and profits over American working families. None of us can afford that.
“The most important role that a Labor Secretary plays is that of protecting workers, ensuring they get paid what they are owed and standing up for their rights, first and foremost. The Department of Labor is the sole agency within the federal government that is focused on these matters day in and day out,” stated Dr. Gabriela D. Lemus, President of Progressive Congress. “Throughout his career, Andy Puzder has been the poster child for doing the exact opposite — placing his company’s profit margins over the well-being of his workers — making him a very troubling candidate for such a critically important position.”
“Puzder has also spoken out against the Affordable Care Act, written op-eds against welfare, and allowed his companies to frequently run ads that are racially insensitive or objectify women — these actions speak to his priorities as a corporate executive who does not pay attention to the lives and needs of ordinary people. He does not have the interests of American workers at heart, and we believe his policies as Secretary of Labor would be disastrous for working families.”