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.
In its enabling legislation, Congress affirmed that the mission of the Department of Labor is to “foster, promote, and develop the welfare of wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.”
To many workers and worker advocates, the nomination of Puzder, a multi-millionaire CEO of a fast-food empire, represents a 100-year leap backward.