Opposition from labor and activists force Puzder’s hand
Stephon Johnson | 2/17/2017, 1 p.m.
Andrew Puzder won’t be a member of President Donald Trump’s cabinet.
According to reports, Puzder will withdraw his name from nomination for Labor Secretary. His nomination hadn’t even made it to the confirmation hearing stage. His nomination brought about controversy due to his views on labor and allegations of domestic abuse as chronicled by an old interview with Puzder’s ex-wife by Oprah Winfrey.
Puzder’s confirmation hearing was set to begin on Thursday.
“The reasons Mr. Puzder is terrible choice for this job are literally too numerous to cover fully,” said U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren on the Senate floor. “Mr. Puzder is not the kind of person the American people can trust to stand up for workers.”
Many workers around the country felt the same way.
Earlier this week, workers in New York City and around the country took to McDonald’s locations to protest Andrew Puzder’s labor secretary nomination. Pro-labor groups claim that Puzder is unfit to serve the position as he’s not a champion of labor.
“We've heard Puzder talk about his own employees in a completely disrespectful way and it's clear to me and so many other workers in this country that he's not going to stand up for us as Labor Secretary," said Jorel Ware, a McDonald's employee in Harlem, in a statement. "That's why we're out here today to say publicly that he is unfit to serve and he should withdraw or the Senate should vote against his appointment."
Labor, community and religious groups like 32BJ SEIU, RWDSU, DC 37, Retail Action Project, Make the Road New York, Workmen’s Circle and the Greater New York Labor-Religion Coalition have all come out against Andrew Puzder.
The protest in New York was one of many around the country Monday denounce Puzder’s nomination. Fast-food cooks and cashiers planned on making it to CKE’s corporate offices in Anaheim, Ca. and Hardee’s corporate headquarters in St. Louis, Mo. to protest Puzder. Recent reports have Puzder accused of wage theft, sexual harassment, domestic abuse sexism and avoiding taxes/
Puzder became the CEO of CKE Restaurants Holdings, Inc. in 2000. CKE is the parent company of Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. Labor advocates think Puzder is unfit to serve noting that he opposes overtime pay and an increased minimum wage. Sixty percent of Department of Labor investigations since Barack Obama’s first year in office found that CKE restaurants and franchises violated wage and hour laws. Since 2000, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) found 98 safety violations at Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s locations concluding that 36 of them were capable of causing death or physical harm.
“Pudzer cares only for shareholders and profits and himself. If he becomes the labor secretary, business owners will get more power to abuse workers,” said JC Penney employee and Retail Wholesale and Department Store Union member Beena Martinez, in a statement. “Too many retail workers already suffer by not having access to benefits nor to full time hours and being forced to accept on-call shifts. We need a labor secretary who will stand in solidarity with low-wage workers.”