What You Need to Know About Trump’s Secretary of Labor Pick Andy Puzder

This piece is one in a series of articles about President-elect Donald Trump’s appointees for the new administration. To read the rest in the series, click here.

Say goodbye to the quest for living wages, paid parental leave or any progressive policy that could help lower income Americans get ahead. President-elect Donald Trump has just announced his new pick for Secretary of Labor, and fast food CEO Andy Puzder doesn’t appear likely to put the plight of workers ahead of business owners making huge profits.

Here’s what you need to know about the likely next Secretary of Labor Andy Puzder.

1) He is the Chief Executive Officer of Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. fast food chains.

“Fast food executive Andrew Puzder is President-elect Donald Trump’s pick to lead the Department of Labor, transition sources told Fox News on Thursday,” reports Fox. ”Puzder is CEO of CKE Restaurants Inc., which owns Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s.”

2) Yes, that Carl’s Jr. with the history of sexist television ads.

“In late March, Carl’s Jr. will debut a new commercial that features Victoria’s Secret model and Project Runway host Heidi Klum hawking the restaurant’s newest sandwich and — quelle surprise! — it’s gonna be super SEXXXY. In Klum’s own words, ‘Basically, I am Mrs. Robinson and I am seducing this cute little boy… with my burger, I shove the burger in his mouth in a sexy way.’ There’s a great future in Carl’s Jr. burgers. Think about it. Will you think about it? Of course, Klum is just another spokesmodel in a long history of spokesmodels used by the chain to make its highly processed food more appealing to our nation’s neck-beards…” Jezebel wrote in 2013, offering a long series of the brand’s sexist commercials.

3) He thinks it’s appropriate to peddle sex to kids if it sells the product.

“We believe in putting hot models in our commercials, because ugly ones don’t sell burgers,” said the CEO in a 2011 press release, according to Fortune. “We target hungry guys, and we get young kids that want to be young hungry guys.”

4) With the exception of ”hot models” in his commercials, he’d prefer to eliminate employees as much as possible.

Puzder’s interest in an employee-free restaurant, which he says would be possible only if the company found time as Hardee’s works on its northeastern expansion, has been driven by rising minimum wages across the US,” reports Business Insider. “‘With government driving up the cost of labor, it’s driving down the number of jobs,’ he says. ‘You’re going to see automation not just in airports and grocery stores, but in restaurants.’”

5) He has a background in the anti-abortion movement.

“But earlier in his life, Puzder was also well-known for his work as an anti-choice attorney,” reports Rewire.news. “In the 1980s, he helped author a sweeping piece of anti-choice legislation in Missouri that included radical ‘personhood‘ language defining life as beginning at conception. Measures of this nature would ban abortion and many forms of contraception. He discussed his role in writing the legislation in a 2009 interview with the St. Louis Business Journal. Puzder crafted the law with the aim of effectively gutting Roe v. Wade. He told the Chicago Tribune in 1989 that the legislation was ‘not an abortion statute’ but was instead designed to make the U.S. Supreme Court ‘face the question of deciding whether a state can decide when life exists.’”

6) His companies had the fourth highest incidents of “wage theft” reported to the government.

“‘Wage theft is a rampant, everyday problem in the fast-food industry: Nearly nine out of 10 fast-food workers across the country report having money stolen from their paychecks by their boss,’ Kendall Fells, the Fight for $15 national organizing director, told Bloomberg BNA via e-mail.,” Bloomberg reported. “Fells referred to a 2014 poll commissioned by the campaign of more than 1,000 fast-food workers nationwide. The survey documented such common worker complaints as being forced to perform tasks before clocking in or after clocking out, having the cost of uniforms deducted from their paychecks, and not receiving breaks during long shifts.”

7) He opposes fair wages, the new federal overtime rule and, of course, Obamacare.

“Puzder opposes new overtime rules proposed by the Department of Labor that would extend guaranteed overtime pay to qualified salaried workers making less than $47,476 a year,” reports Media Matters. “Puzder defended his position by claiming that having a salaried position — and thus no overtime pay — is an ‘opportunity’ that confers ‘prestige’ and ‘an increased sense of ownership’ to overworked and underpaid managers. Puzder has also frequently attacked the push to raise the minimum wage and Obamacare’s health insurance expansion, misleadingly claiming that stronger wages and benefits actually hurt workers.”

8) But he’s actually pro-immigration – because it gives companies more low wage unskilled workers.

“At an American Enterprise Institute conference in 2013, the CEO of CKE Restaurants, parent of Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr., riffed on the virtues of low-skilled immigrants and backed immigration reform,” reports CNBC.com. “‘Our Hardee’s restaurant operators in the Midwest and the Southeast often use the labor force in California as an example of what they would like their labor force to be,’ he said then. ‘They’re very hardworking, dedicated, creative people that really appreciate the fact they have a job,’ Puzder said. ‘Whereas in other parts of the country you often get people that are saying, “I can’t believe I have to work this job,” with the immigration population you always have the, “Thank God I have this job” kind of attitude. So you end up with a real different feeling.’”

Photo credit: Wikimedia commons

92 comments

W. C
W. C1 years ago

Thanks for the article.

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Marie W
Marie W2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Siyus C
Siyus Copetallus2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Chad Anderson
Chad Anderson2 years ago

Appointing the Mafia Don to the police civilian review board.

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ERIKA SOMLAI
ERIKA SOMLAI2 years ago

noted

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ERIKA SOMLAI
ERIKA SOMLAI2 years ago

noted

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JT Smith
Past Member 2 years ago

This is not a matter of Democrats versus Republicans. Ever since November 8, we are left with a man the media keep incorrectly calling Trump the “President-Elect” (there will be no President-Elect until and unless a majority of the Electors select one when they meet on December 19), a man who lost the election by well over two million votes (a fact that is only very infrequently even mentioned in the media). Please read these articles: "Hamilton v. Trump: The Case That Could Save America" [http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-s-mcelvaine/hamilton-v-trump-the-case_b_13310142.html] and "32 Nonpartisan, Non-Ideological Reasons The Electoral College Must Reject Trump (And these are only based on what has happened since November 8th)" [http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/32-nonpartisan-non-ideological-reasons-the-electoral_us_583ef1bbe4b048862d73fd3b]; and share them far and wide.

Trump must be stopped before he does become President-elect, let alone President! (Please share the contents of this comment, not only on Care2 but throughout all social media. The more attention brought to this the better the chances of something being done to stop this.)

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Julie W
Julie W2 years ago

Debora W: "facts presented are already public record, tell us something factual -- NOT SPECULATIVE "
Nothing I read here was speculative. Facts may be on public record, but that doesn't mean we are all aware of them. You are really struggling to find something to say against this article , so you complain that Care2 is writing facts!

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ERIKA SOMLAI
ERIKA SOMLAI2 years ago

noted

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ERIKA S
ERIKA SOMLAI2 years ago

noted

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