President Trump campaigned on promises of higher wages and better jobs, but he has betrayed those promises with his nomination of fast-food chain CEO Andrew Puzder for secretary of the Department of Labor.
The Department of Labor exists, according to its own mission statement “to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.” It is an entity charged with enforcing our basic workplace laws, like minimum wage and overtime requirements and laws that protect worker health and safety. Yet instead of choosing a champion of workers, Mr. Trump chose a millionaire contemptuous of the very department he has been tapped to lead.
Mr. Puzder is the CEO of CKE Restaurants, parent company of the Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s fast-food chains. He has demonstrated outright hostility to workers, including those at his own business. He would like to replace his employees with machines to avoid having to provide benefits because 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.”