The Tennessean • Jordan Buie
On the same day as a mobile billboard commissioned by a national women’s advocacy group circled in Franklin in protest of Labor Secretary nominee Andrew Puzder, , a local labor union delivered a petition to Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker in opposition to Puzder.
The Central Labor Council of Nashville and Middle Tennessee delivered the petition with 500 local signatures, pushing a national petition to over 50,000 on the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrialized Organizations national labor union website.
“Mr. Puzder has proven in his time as CEO of CKE Restaurants that he is not an advocate for working families,” said Central Labor Council of Nashville and Middle TN president Vonda McDaniel in a news release. “The Secretary of Labor is tasked with enforcing the laws that protect workers from abuse and exploitation. Given his history, it is clear that Mr. Puzder cannot be trusted to fill that role and we join thousands of voices across the country in urging our senators to vote against his confirmation.”
Puzder’s stance against raising minimum wage, automation and his view of the Affordable Care Act as a burden to employers has put him at odds with labor unions.
Several groups came out in opposition after the news of his nomination, while many prominent leaders in Tennessee expressed their support of Puzder as being good for the American workforce.
Puzder spokesman George Thompson issued the following statement Monday:
“This is more fake outrage from the unions and special interests who will stop at nothing in order to push their own self-serving agenda,” the statement said. “Fact is, Andy is a job creator and has provided opportunity for advancement for thousands of employees. His record of creating jobs is exactly what this country needs.”
After news of the labor union petition Tuesday, Thompson responded similarly.
“The unions will continue their persistent attacks and publicity stunts in an effort to obstruct Andy Puzder’s nomination,” he said by email. “Fact is, Andy knows what works and doesn’t work in the real marketplace for labor and he will be a true champion for American workers and businesses.”
After the petition from the local labor Union, a spokeswoman for Alexander’s office said “Sen. Alexander welcomes all Tennesseans’ comments and keeps them in mind when making decisions.”