As protests against Andy Puzder erupt around the country, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) tells labor secretary nominee he has a “sneering contempt” for workers
By Nika Knight / Common Dreams
For the third time since anti-worker fast food CEO Andy Puzder‘s nomination for Labor Secretary was announced, fast food workers flooded the streets in protest on Monday.
Days before Puzder’s confirmation hearing on Thursday, hundreds of cashiers and cooks rallied in front of the St. Louis headquarters of Hardee’s and the Anaheim, Calif. offices of CKE Restaurants, the conglomerate overseen by Puzder that includes Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s restaurants.
Fast food workers weren’t the only people objecting to Puzder’s nomination. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) sent a blistering letter (pdf) to Puzder Monday in which she charged him with “a sneering contempt for the workers in your stores and a vehement opposition to the laws you will be charged with enforcing.”
Indeed, workers say that wage theft, discrimination, and sexual harassment are rampant at Puzder’s chains. Those allegations are backed up by publicly available data and have also prompted multiple investigations from the Department of Labor, as media reports have noted.
“Andy Puzder is unfit to be Labor Secretary—period,” said Angel Gallegos, a Carl’s Jr. cashier from Los Angeles, Calif. “We’re stepping up our fight to demand that Puzder withdraw his nomination, and if he won’t, then the U.S. Senate should reject him. Working families need a real labor secretary who will fight for ordinary people, not powerful corporations.”
One former Carl’s Jr. employee spoke out Monday on Democracy Now! about being ignored when she reported sexual harassment while working for Puzder’s chain:
Puzder has also recently come under fire for hiring an undocumented immigrant as a housekeeper and avoiding taxes on her labor, as Common Dreams reported.
In fact, the battle over Puzder is heating up, The Hill reports, with Democrats seeing his nomination as on even shakier ground than that of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, whose confirmation required a tie-breaking vote from the vice president for the first time in U.S. history.
“Donald Trump ran on the promise of putting workers first, and what he’s done in nominating Puzder, is show he never intended to keep that promise,” a Senate Democratic aide commented to The Hill. “For a lot of voters, that’s not what they had in mind when they entrusted Trump with their futures.”
Watch the rally at Carl’s Jr. headquarters here: