Who is Andrew Puzder?
Andrew Puzder is the CEO of CKE Restaurants, the parent company of Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. restaurants. Puzder is a billionaire who makes more in one day than the typical fast-food worker makes in a year. And he is against raising the minimum wage, is anti-worker, and blames low-wage workers for poverty. He is also President-elect Donald Trump’s pick to be the secretary of labor. Once again, Trump is turning his back on workers and instead creating an administration that works for CEOs, Wall Street, and the wealthiest few.
Top 11 reasons to resist Andrew Puzder’s nomination
- Puzder has a history of labor disputes yet has been chosen to represent workers.
The U.S. Department of Labor has investigated Puzder’s restaurants many times over his 16 years as CEO. And in 60 percent of the investigations since 2009, CKE restaurants and franchises were found to have violated wage and hour laws.
- Puzder argued against raising the minimum wagebecause it would reduce companies’ profits.
In an op-ed about the minimum wage, Puzder recycled tired conservative talking points that increasing the minimum wage kills jobs. Hint to the new labor secretary: It doesn’t. Actually, raising the minimum wage reduces inequality, enables workers to earn a more livable wage, and grows the economy.
- Puzder blames low-wage workers for poverty, despite making nearly 300 timesthe wages of a minimum-wage worker in 2012.
Puzder is the CEO of CKE Restaurants, which employs 20,000 people and owns, operates, or franchises more than 3,300 fast-food restaurants worldwide. Though he employs many low-wage workers, he is against the social safety net, claiming that it “can lock [people] into poverty.”
- Puzder said he’d be interested in replacing his workers with machinesto avoid paying for worker benefits.
Puzder said that 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.” He even said he’d “want to try” an employee-free operation in his restaurants.
- Puzder said the solution to sluggish job growth is “more work, less welfare.”
In an op-ed, Puzder thinks workers should just work more to help their economic squeeze, which is pretty difficult when workers, such as those at CKE Restaurants, make poverty wages and when CEOs like Puzder oppose the overtime rule, which would actually pay workers for working more hours.
- Puzder complained about meal and rest breaks for employees.
In a room full of prospective lawyers, Puzder railed against work standards in California. And now he’s been picked to oversee policy for workers across the United States.
- Puzder is against the overtime rule, saying treating entry-level managers as “hourly” workers will prevent them from realizing their full career potential—through “an increased sense of ownership”—and “achiev[ing] the American Dream.”
Puzder also said that the overtime rule would demote “entry-level managers to glorified crew members,” which is not the case. The overtime rule would enable more workers to be paid for the overtime hours they work—instead of companies like CKE Restaurants profiting off of unpaid work.
- Puzder’s nomination creates a massive conflict of interest, which appears to be a major theme in Donald Trump’s administration.
Puzder’s Labor Department would be in charge of investigating employers, including his franchised and company-owned stores, for labor violations—which could create massive conflicts of interest, as Bloomberg reports.
- Puzder is against the Affordable Care Act—which, if repealed, would mean 30 million Americanswould lose their health insurance coverage.
He even claimed, “Obamacare is the craziest thing in the world and does not make sense.” What does make sense is that more than 20 million Americans got health insurance coverage because of the Affordable Care Act.
- As CEO, Puzder continued to collect perks while his employees had their retirement benefits cut.
While Puzder was CEO, CKE Restaurants stopped making contributions to the 401(k) retirement plans of 130 employees at its corporate headquarters. But there was enough money to pay for Puzder’s perks, including dues for recreation clubs, personal use of the company plane, and car allowance.
- Puzder is against basically everything the Labor Department was created to do.
The Labor Department was created “to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners of the United States, to improve their working conditions, and to advance their opportunities for profitable employment.” Yet Donald Trump nominated a billionaire who is against helping workers earn more money or get ahead in the economy.
How you can #ResistPuzder
The secretary of labor must be confirmed by a majority of the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions and a majority vote on the floor of the Senate.
Call, write, or tweet:
- Lamar Alexander (R-TN) at 202.224.4944
- Michael Enzi (R-WY) at 202.224.3424
- Richard Burr (R-NC) at 202.224.3154
- Johnny Isakson (R-GA) at 202.224.3643
- Rand Paul (R-KY) at 202.224.4343
- Susan Collins (R-ME) at 202.224.2523
- Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) at 202.224.6665
- Tim Scott (R-SC) at 202.224.6121
- Orrin Hatch (R-UT) at 202.224.5251
- Pat Roberts (R-KS) at 202.224.4774
- Bill Cassidy (R-LA) at 202.224.5824
- Todd Young (R-SC) at 202.224.5623
and demand that they examine and question Puzder’s record against workers before deciding how they will vote.