In a piece in the Las Vegas Sun, CWA President Chris Shelton took on Donald Trump's pick for Secretary of Labor, Andrew Puzder, for his troubling record on the issues that working people care most about:
Andrew Puzder, the CEO of CKE Restaurants, would be a fine choice to head a government agency responsible for looking out for millionaires. Instead, he's been tapped by President-elect Donald Trump to head the Labor Department, which for more than 100 years has been responsible "for promoting the welfare of wage earners, job seekers and retirees."
The Labor Department looks out for ordinary working people when it comes to keeping jobs safe and making sure workers aren't shortchanged or cheated when it comes to their wages.
Puzder seems likely to turn all that upside down. According to his public statements, he opposes many of the policies and programs he would be responsible for administering. This is not what Trump voters wanted.
Puzder opposes the Labor Department's overtime rule and actually claimed that what workers "lose in overtime pay they gain in stature and sense of accomplishment" (Wall Street Journal, 3/25/14).
Puzder rejects increasing the minimum wage. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour and hasn't been raised since July 2009. Over the years, the purchasing value of the minimum wage has dropped 10 percent, and overall, minimum-wage workers earn 25 percent less today than a minimum-wage worker in 1968.
What does Puzder think about working people? Apparently he thinks they aren’t worth the bother and actually prefers machines. Puzder says that contrary to human workers, machines are "always polite, they always upsell, they never take a vacation, they never show up late, there’s never a slip-and-fall, or an age, sex or race discrimination case." (Fortune, 3/17/16).