Our organizations urge you to oppose the nomination of Andrew Puzder as Secretary of Labor. This nomination represents another in a string of Trump administration appointments that betrays the President-elect’s promise to improve the lives of working people.
As CEO of CKE Restaurants, which operates Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s, Mr. Puzder’s nomination to an agency charged with protecting working people is rife with conflicts of interest: Mr. Puzder’s company has faced numerous Department of Labor violations for failing to pay the minimum wage or overtime. Sixty percent of inspections at of Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s restaurants found labor law violations and Mr. Puzder has opposed both raising the minimum wage and enforcement of overtime rules and mandatory sick leave. Mr. Puzder’s confirmation would ensure that the interests of the fast food industry--and its large meat and food industry suppliers—would prevail over the needs of hard-working people in the food system who face some of the highest rates of food insecurity due to low wages and poor working conditions.
Contrary to what Mr. Puzder and other corporate leaders at the National Restaurant Association say about good working conditions in the restaurant sector, the majority of restaurant workers are women and people of color, making as little as $2.13 per hour and relying on tips to survive. These workers face disproportionate rates of poverty, discrimination, and sexual harassment and deserve a Labor Secretary who believes that, as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said “All labor has dignity." Instead, with the National Restaurant Association’s champion heading the Department of Labor, workers will have to rely on vocal opponents of labor regulations to protect their basic workplace rights.
On behalf of the many people and groups who have worked tirelessly for a better food system that provides nutritious food and livable wages and treats the land, farmers and animals with respect, we the undersigned oppose the nomination of Andrew Puzder to Labor Secretary.
Mr. Puzder would be yet one more nominee working for the interests of big business over the interests of working people.
Jose Oliva, Food Chain Workers AllianceKari Hamerschlag, Friends of the EarthAnna Lappé, Real Food Media ProjectSriram Madhusoodanan, Corporate Accountability International