Tribune News Service • Saru Jayaraman
As a workers rights advocate, I work with many restaurant owners to teach them about the connection of low wages, sexualized marketing, and sexual violence and how to make workplaces both safe and supportive. Some employers are surprised to learn that mothers struggling to make ends meet are much less likely to escape violent personal relationships. Others are appalled when they realize that encouraging women to wear provocative attire to increase sales and supplement their sub-minimum tipped wage facilitates sexual harassment and violence perpetrated by both customers and supervisors.
But then there are restaurant owners like CKE Restaurants CEO Andrew Puzder, President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of labor, who has profited from a marketing strategy that objectifies women by placing them in bikinis eating burgers and has employed a business model that exploits workers through low wages and untenable working conditions. Puzder has spent his career opposing and undermining the core tenets of the Labor Department. A CEO who assails basic worker protections such as overtime pay, breaks and increasing the minimum wage to a livable wage has no business leading the department whose stated mission is “to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners; … improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.”
Buzzfeed • Cora Lewis
Fast food CEO Andy Puzder has faced a rough few weeks since Donald Trump nominated him to become Secretary of Labor, with activist groups engaging in a blitz of criticism over his history of opposition to raising the federal minimum wage.
In response, Puzder is following a time-honored technique: One by one, he’s blocking his enemies on Twitter.
The Hardees and Carl’s Jr. CEO has blocked the Twitter accounts of at least five labor advocacy groups. This week, he even blocked one of the country’s most prominent union leaders, Mary Kay Henry of the 2-million member Service Employees International Union.
The Guardian • Laura Bates
New research has suggested that female employees at fast food restaurants operated by Andrew Puzder, Donald Trump’s nomination for labor secretary, face far higher levels of workplace sexual harassment than the industry average. According to the research conducted by Restaurant Opportunities Center (ROC) United, around 66% of female workers reported sexual harassment at brands owned by CKE restaurants, run by Puzder, compared with the average of 40% across the fast food industry.
The man at the top of this particular food chain has repeatedly made sexist statements and expressed his backing for the infamous adverts that have objectified and sexualised women’s bodies to sell hamburgers for CKE restaurants chains including Carl’s Jr. “We believe in putting hot models in our commercials, because ugly ones don’t sell burgers,” Puzder said, in a 2009 press release. Last year he proudly endorsed the adverts, and stated: “I like beautiful women eating burgers in bikinis … I used to hear that brands take on the personality of the CEO. And I rarely thought that was true, but I think this one, in this case, it kind of did take on my personality.”
Here are the top 10 reasons working people nor the US economy need or want an #AntiLaborSecretary Puzder. Take 60 seconds to tell YOUR Senator to vote NO! @http://bit.ly/2hAzgqf #StopTheOtherNRA
Posted by Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC United) on Tuesday, January 10, 2017
East Bay Times • Kate O’Hara & Josie Camacho
Over the last four years, the East Bay has been at the epicenter of lifting up low-wage working people. We’ve voted by overwhelming margins to raise wages. We just assume that everyone should have paid sick days. And we support fair scheduling so people can budget and plan for child care, education, second jobs and even rest.
Led by East Bay workers, we’ve set the pace for the nation and many other cities and states have followed suit. What’s more is that we have helped to shift the country’s public debate around low-wage jobs. The Bay Area belief that all work is valuable and all people deserve to have their basic needs met has become the national trend to help drive policies that benefit those who struggle to get by.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette • Barney Oursler
Our region was built on the blood, sweat and tears of workers in the steel mills and coal mines. The rights of working-class people across the nation were fought for and won by those workers. Pittsburgh is central to the labor movement, to standing up for the working class and to fighting for families.
Tens of thousands of people who voted for Donald Trump in this region did so because they heard his promises of better jobs and and a better life. However, after President-elect Trump’s nomination of fast-food CEO Andrew Puzder to be the nation’s secretary of labor, we see just how false those promises were. Mr. Puzder is vehemently opposed to the rights of workers trying to support their families. He is the antithesis of a labor secretary.
Andrew Puzder, the CEO of CKE Restaurant Holdings (CKE), which owns several fast food chains including Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s, has been nominated to be Secretary of Labor by President-Elect Donald Trump. The Secretary of Labor is the nation’s most senior official tasked with ensuring the well-being of workers and advancing their employment opportunities, and is therefore of great importance to women and their families. The Secretary of Labor oversees the Department of Labor’s interpretation and enforcement of a number of laws vital to women’s economic security and right to be free from discrimination, such as the minimum wage and overtime protections in the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Affordable Care Act, and executive orders prohibiting employment discrimination by federal contractors and setting labor standards for federal contractors’ employees, including protection of the right to earn paid sick days.
Mr. Puzder’s record demonstrates that he should not be confirmed to this important position.
National Employment Law Project • Rachel Nass
In her testimony at a January 10th forum featuring fast-food workers mistreated by the Carl’s Jr. restaurant chain headed by labor secretary nominee Andrew Puzder, NELP Executive Director Christine Owens once again outlined the extreme contradiction of the president-elect’s pick for labor secretary.
As Owens explained, Congress established the Department of Labor more than 100 years ago in order to separate the competing interests of commerce and labor in the federal government, which were originally housed in a single cabinet agency.
The Century Foundation • Michael McCormack & Simon Glenn-Gregg
Andrew Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants, Inc., is President-elect Trump’s pick for secretary of labor. Concerns over his statements on automation, workers and the minimum wage have dominated many reports on his potential nomination. Others have pointed out the violations his restaurants and franchisees have accrued during his tenure as CEO. Violations of employment and safety regulations by CKE Restaurants have not yet been compiled in a comprehensive and visual way.
Our work here with data from the Wage and Hour Division and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, both operating under the Department of Labor, combines the two datasets in order to demonstrate the scope of CKE Restaurants and its franchisees’ labor violations.