Skip to main content

CWA Has Troubles With Puzder for Labor Secretary

Communications Workers of America is finding the likely nomination of fast-food mogul Andy Puzder as Secretary of Labor a bit hard to swallow.

“Andy Puzder, the CEO of CKE Restaurants (Hardees, Carl's Jr.), would be a fine choice to head a government agency responsible for looking out for millionaires," said CWA president Chris Shelton.

But CWA's charter is not to protect the rights of millionaires. CWA represents 700,000 workers, including in the cable, broadcast, news, and telecom industries.

"Puzder has a record of public statements and action that demonstrates why he is a poor choice to head the agency responsible for promoting ‘the welfare of wage earners, job seekers and retirees,'" said Shelton. "Puzder opposes many of the policies and programs he would administer. He opposes the Department of Labor’s overtime rule and actually claimed that what workers 'lose in overtime pay they gain in stature and sense of accomplishment.'"

“He objects to efforts to increase the minimum wage. He thinks government support programs for low-wage workers – like those who work at his own restaurant franchises – are a disincentive to work, despite the fact that many fast food and retail workers’ wages are so low that they qualify for food stamps, public housing assistance and Medicaid. He fails to realize that it is low-wage employers—like him—who are the cause of workers living in poverty."

That is a troubling roadmap for future action, Shelton said.

“With Andy Puzder’s nomination it is becoming even clearer that President-elect Trump’s appetite for helping hard working Americans was nothing more than campaign rhetoric and that his hunger for fast food extends far beyond his diet but to his cabinet as well," agreed Allied Progress executive director Karl Frisch.

Pudzer's Carl Jr.'s TV ads featuring bikini-clad women washing expensive cars and eating burgers have drawn criticism, and the Parents Television Council called the nomination 'troubling.'

“For someone who is charged with overseeing the interests and concerns of our labor force, it’s disconcerting that we’d rely on someone so seemingly eager to hyper-sexualize women for his own corporate gain," said PTC President Tim Winter. T"hat’s not the kind of Labor Secretary our nation deserves. We hope that the Trump Administration and the transition team takes these concerns into consideration.”

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.