Labor Advocates To Protest Labor Secretary Nominee Andy Puzder Outside Carl's Jr. HQ
Members of Fight For $15 and other labor advocates will protest Monday the Labor Secretary nomination of Andy Puzder (CEO of Carl's Jr./Hardee's parent company CKE) today. The protests are scheduled at CKE offices around the country, including the company's corporate offices in Anaheim, and the company's headquarters in Carpinteria. The Anaheim protest will be located at 1325 N. Anaheim Blvd., and is scheduled to take place at noon today.
"Puzder's nomination sends the wrong message to America,'' said Sandra Ortega, an organizer with Clergy and Laity for Economic Justice (CLUE), who will attend one of the protests, notes City News Wire.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee will hold a confirmation hearing (the fifth one scheduled, after Puzder's official paperwork was delayed four times by the Office of Government Ethics) for the proposed Labor Secretary's nomination on February 16.
“By picking Puzder, Donald Trump has shown that instead of taking on the rigged economy, he wants to rig it up even more,” said Doreatha Hines, a Hardee's cashier from Orlando, Florida, reports Common Dreams. “If Trump is going to be a president for the fast-food corporations instead of for the fast-food workers he is going to be on the wrong side of history. And one thing is for sure, whether Puzder's nomination is confirmed, denied or withdrawn: we won’t back down for one minute in our demands for $15 an hour and union rights for all working Americans.”
"Trump wants to put Puzder in charge of enforcing these very laws that he broke as CEO," a statement by Fight For $15 reads. "He opposes the minimum wage. He thinks workers are overprotected. He is against unions. He even said he wants to fire workers and replace them with machines that can’t take vacations or sue their employers when they break the law. In fact, as a fast-food CEO, he regularly broke the laws he’d be responsible for enforcing if he gets the job."
The L.A. Times further notes that Puzder had employed a housekeeper for some time who was in the United States illegally.
“My wife and I employed a housekeeper for a few years, during which I was unaware that she was not legally permitted to work in the U.S.,” Puzder said in a statement. “When I learned of her status, we immediately ended her employment and offered her assistance in getting legal status. We have fully paid back taxes to the IRS and the state of California.”
Proponents of Puzder defend his business record, and claim Puzder's time dealing with the Department of Labor gives him an insider's knowledge.
According to KIRO, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce urged the Senate to confirm Puzder, as he would be "the first CEO of a company to go directly to serving as secretary of labor. ...This means he will know better than any other secretary the impact that the department's actions have on companies and the economy."
"My job as a business person is to maximize profits for my company, employees and shareholders,'' Puzder said after his nomination by President Trump, reports City News Wire. "My job as Secretary of Labor, if confirmed, is to serve U.S. citizen workers. That is my moral and constitutional duty. I know the system from the inside, and will be the best champion American workers have had.''
Here are some recent tweets from Puzder's detractors: