You stopped Puzder!
We did it! Andrew Puzder-- President Trump’s pick for secretary of labor and the CEO of CKE Restaurants, which owns Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr-- will not run the Department of Labor. Last week, after facing fierce opposition from folks like you and organizations all around the country, the fast food CEO withdrew his name from consideration for the position one day before his scheduled hearing. Puzder built his fast food empire on exploitation and abuse, and you helped stop him from running the department meant to protect workers and their families. And the new nominee, Alexander Acosta, lacks many of the huge personal and professional red flags that were raised with Puzder’s nomination. Thank you!
Puzder’s CKE Restaurants is infamous for trampling workers’ rights, stealing wages, and undermining the push to increase the minimum wage. We helped amplify his dismal track record in a report authored by Restaurant Opportunities Center United (ROC United), with contributions by Corporate Accountability International: “Secretary of Labor Violations?: The low road business model of CKE Restaurants Inc.’s Andrew Puzder.” The report documents widespread wage theft, sexual harassment, and other damage that CKE Restaurants caused its workers and customers over the past ten years.
Simply put, Puzder would have been the “anti-labor secretary,” and Corporate Accountability International members like you, along with thousands of people around the country, weren’t going to let that happen. You called your senators, exposed CKE’s abuses far and wide via ROC United’s report, and helped mobilize over 100 food and agriculture organizations representing more than 10 million people to urge U.S. Senators to oppose Puzder’s confirmation. As part of a powerful movement for economic justice that includes allies like the Fight for $15, our work forced Trump to switch his nominee from a fast food executive whose corporation has extensive labor law violations to a man with few corporate ties and prior experience enforcing labor laws.
Together, we were part of an unprecedented pushback to Trump’s Cabinet from across the food system and labor movements. As the first pick to withdraw his nomination, Puzder sets an important precedent. When we work together with our allies and friends across movements and organizations and unite to oppose corruption and corporate control when we see it, we win. We may not have blocked every nominee, but with this win it is unequivocal. Resistance to Trump’s administration is working. We may not win every time, but we must celebrate and build on the victories we do achieve.
And that’s exactly what we are doing. This movement that you are a part of -- of workers, food justice advocates, food chain organizations, lawyers, allies, community members, and more who organized to block Puzder’s appointment -- is emboldened. We will continue to organize fiercely and hold Acosta to the same high standards to which we held Puzder. We’re excited to continue to stand up for workers’ rights and economic justice, and even more excited to have members like you with us.
Sriram Madhusoodanan is the director of the Value [the] Meal campaign.