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Groups call for senate to oppose labor secretary pick

Labor Secretary

A coalition of food, farm and labor organizations wants the US Senate to block President Trump’s fast-food CEO choice for Secretary of Labor.

 

Food, public health and labor advocates this week added to a chorus of voices opposing the nomination of fast food CEO Andrew Puzder as secretary of labor.

Since 2000, Puzder has served as CEO of CKE Restaurants, the parent company of Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. chains.

More than 100 groups, led by Corporate Accountability International, Food Chain Workers Alliance, Friends of the Earth, and Real Food Media, sent a letter asking the U.S Senate to reject Puzder’s nomination.

Kara Kaufman, press secretary at Corporate Accountability International, told Earth Eats that Puzder is unqualified, and has a long track record of choosing the interests of companies over workers.

“The Trump administration is signaling its preference for corporate profits and the wealth of a few select individuals over the interests of workers around the country, of middle-class Americans whose benefits might be slashed should Andrew Puzder become Secretary of Labor.”

She added that Trump’s nomination serves as a “rubber stamp of approval” on conflicts of interest that suffuse his administration.

An investigation by Capital & Main revealed that CKE faced more federal workplace discrimination lawsuits than any other major fast food company during Puzder’s tenure.

Surveys have shown that women working at CKE chains reported sexual harassment at a rate 1.5 times higher than the industry average.

In a press release, Kari Hamerschlag, deputy director of food and technology, Friends of the Earth, said “putting an outspoken critic of worker protections and a living wage in charge of the Department of Labor is straight out of an Orwellian nightmare.”

Puzder’s hearing was originally slated for January 12, then but delayed four times, from January 17, February 2, February 7, and this week delayed once again with no date set.

It was postponed, according to Bloomberg BNA, to allow Puzder more time to submit paperwork to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

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