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Murray ‘deeply concerned’ about DOL nominee Puzder’s record

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Dec. 8, 2016) — President-elect Donald Trump is expected to announce today that he has named fast-food executive Andy Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants which operates the Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s fast-food chains, to be Secretary of Labor.

murray-pattyIn response, U.S. Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee that will consider Puzder’s nomination, released the following statement:

With the nomination of Andrew Puzder, President-elect Trump has sent another clear signal that he has no intention of fulfilling his campaign promise to put workers and retirees first — instead, he’s bent on building an Administration made up of billionaires and the staunchest allies for big business, special interests, and Wall Street that he can find.

The Department of Labor has significant and broad reach — from workers’ and labor rights to health and safety, workplace harassment, workforce investments, disability resources, pensions plans and so much more — so I am eager to meet Mr. Puzder to discuss in detail his plans and vision for the agency. At the outset, I am deeply concerned by Mr. Puzder’s record of standing in the way of progress on issues that would make an immediate difference in the lives of working families, in particular raising the minimum wage and ensuring equal pay for equal work. And I have serious questions about whether a CEO who is comfortable reinforcing harmful stereotypes about women and who is so dismissive of workplace discrimination issues can be trusted to uphold core missions of the Department.

I am also alarmed by Mr. Puzder’s vocal support for eliminating the new overtime rule and other basic protections the current Department has worked to finalize. If President-elect Trump truly wants to stand up for workers and retirees, he and Mr. Puzder will commit to ensuring these protections are fully implemented.

Working families in my home state of Washington and across the country are looking for strong leadership for the Department and someone who is going to be on their side — and not just for those already at the top. So I will work tirelessly to make sure their voices and priorities are heard loud and clear as part of a rigorous vetting and hearing process for Mr. Puzder.

puzder-andy► Today from the Wall St. Journal — Trump to name fast-food CEO as labor secretary — President-elect Donald Trump is expected to name fast-food executive Andy Puzder, chief executive of CKE Restaurants Holdings Inc., the parent company of the Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s burger chains, as labor secretary. Puzder has been a vocal advocate for restraining minimum wage increases and getting rid of the Affordable Care Act.

► From Fortune (March 7, 2016) — This fast-food CEO wants to replace workers with robots — CEO of CKE Restaurants Andy Puzder wants to take humans out of the fast food equation. The Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s parent company could soon implement an employee-free operation… “You order on a kiosk, you pay with a credit or debit card, your order pops up, and you never see a person.” … Additionally, Puzder would never have to worry about an employee lawsuit again. Machines are “always polite, they always upsell, they never take a vacation, they never show up late, there’s never a slip-and-fall, or an age, sex, or race discrimination case,” he said.

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