Donald Trump campaigned that he was going to look out for the working class while taking on corporate greed. There was plenty of evidence why we didn’t believe him and it hasn’t taken long for the President-elect to show his true colors. First, he nominated Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education, someone who wants to dismantle public education by defunding and privatizing America’s sacred institution and who was the principle behind the largest fine ever handed out (still unpaid) by the Ohio Elections Commission for dirty and illegal political action.
Now Trump has nominated fast-food Executive Andy Puzder as Labor Secretary. Mr. Puzder, chief executive of CKE Restaurants (Hardees, Carl, Jr.), has never been a friend to workers and continuously threatened to automate his restaurants when talk of fair wages and benefits occur.
You probably know his restaurant commercials, they use scantily-clad models to sell burgers, but what they don’t tell you is his company’s deplorable record on labor board violations. Or the fact he moved his corporate headquarters from California to Texas because it is a Right-to-Work state.
Here are some bullet points on what Purzder thinks of working people. Remember, President-Elect Trump believes this CEO is the person best fit to protect worker rights. It is clear with Trump’s choice his promise to working people is as empty as Purzder’s respect for the workers who make him so rich.
- In A Department Of Labor Investigation, “More Than Half Of Carl’s Jr. And Hardee’s Restaurants Investigated Were Found To Have At Least One Wage And Hours Violation.” According to Mic, “When the current Department of Labor conducted more than 4,000 investigations into the 20 largest fast food brands, more than half of Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s restaurants investigated were found to have at least one wage and hours violation.” [Mic, 12/2/16]
- 2012: In An SEC Disclosure, CKE Said That Its “Most Significant Legal Disputes” Related To “Employee Meal And Rest Break Disputes, And Wage And Hour Disputes.” According to a CKE Restaurants Securities and Exchange Committee disclosure, “We are currently involved in legal disputes related to employment claims, real estate claims and other business disputes. With respect to employment matters, our most significant legal disputes relate to employee meal and rest break disputes, and wage and hour disputes.” [CKE Restaurants SEC Disclosure, 12/12/12]
- Puzder Planned To Pursue Replacing Workers With Machines To Avoid Paying For Benefits Like Healthcare. According to the Wall Street Journal, “Mr. Puzder also expects fast-food restaurants to deal with ObamaCare by replacing workers with kiosks. ‘You’re going to go into a fast-food restaurant and order on an iPad or tablet instead of talking to a person because we don’t have to pay benefits for any of those things.’” [Wall Street Journal, 7/14/13]
- Puzder Felt Machines Were Easier To Deal With Than Humans. According to the Las Angeles Times, “According to the quote, Puzder feels that machines are much easier to deal with than humans. ‘They’re 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.’ (Technical note: ‘upselling’ means steering customers toward products with higher price tags.)” [Los Angeles Times, 3/30/16]
The Ohio AFL-CIO is committed to providing the most accurate information on issues that affect working people. Donald Trump said he wanted to “Make America Great Again.” But so far, it is clear he is just looking to make it great for those who are well-off and well-connected. His appointments so far have shown no promise to help lift up so many Ohioans that have been left behind by unfair trade deals and a rigged system that encourages companies to keep workers in poverty while reaping mass profits for shareholders and bonuses for themselves.
President-Elect Trump is making it clear that his administration will resemble the way he ran his businesses — stacked with corporate cronies and profiteers that have no regard for working people, union or otherwise. We need all of us, no matter who we voted for, to be ready to defend our rights as working people to protect our fair shot at the American Dream.