Las Vegas Sun • Chris Shelton
Andrew Puzder, the CEO of CKE Restaurants, would be a fine choice to head a government agency responsible for looking out for millionaires. Instead, he’s been tapped by President-elect Donald Trump to head the Labor Department, which for more than 100 years has been responsible “for promoting the welfare of wage earners, job seekers and retirees.”
The Labor Department looks out for ordinary working people when it comes to keeping jobs safe and making sure workers aren’t shortchanged or cheated when it comes to their wages. Puzder seems likely to turn all that upside down. According to his public statements, he opposes many of the policies and programs he would be responsible for administering.
It’s shameful that in the richest country in the world, wages for many fast-food and retail workers are so low that these workers qualify for food stamps, public housing assistance and Medicaid. Yet, that’s the reality for millions of low-wage workers. It is low-wage employers — like Puzder’s fast-food chains — that are the cause of workers living in poverty. Yet, Puzder seems to begrudge these workers the ability to even receive food stamps.
Puzder’s positions provide a troubling roadmap as to what he would attempt — or choose to ignore — as secretary of labor. The 150 million working people in the U.S. deserve better. They deserve a labor secretary who is on their side.