The stated purpose of the US Department of Labor is that it exists to “foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners [and] job seekers,” and to “improve working conditions” and “assure work-related benefits and rights.”
Donald Trump’s choice to lead the department, Andrew Puzder, is not a champion of those values by any stretch in his career as CEO of fast-food chains Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. He’s a staunch and vocal opponent of minimum-wage hikes, and his companies have had to pay out millions of dollars to settle overtime claims, which you can read about here.
It gets worse, though. This is from a Mother Jones report on Puzder:
Thanks to OC Weekly’s Gabriel San Roman, we know what Puzder thinks of worker breaks. Spoiler: not much.
San Roman got to digging into the archives of Cal State Fullerton’s Center for Oral and Public History, where he found a 2009 interview (not available online) with Puzder. According to San Roman, Puzder “complained about regulations and overtime laws, claiming workers are overprotected.” San Roman adds, quoting from the interview:
“Have you ever been to a fast food restaurant and the employees are sitting and you’re wondering, ‘Why are they sitting?'” Puzder asked. “They are on what is called a mandatory break [emphasis his].” He shared a laugh with the interviewer, saying the so-called nanny state is why Carl’s Jr. doesn’t open up any new restaurants in California anymore.
Appointing a burger CEO who openly hates worker’s rights might seem like par for the course for Donald Trump, but a look into Puzder’s past reveals he’s very much an Establishment Republican.
Draining the swamp, Donald? Of course he isn’t. He’s filling the swamp with Establishment Republicans and Wall Street insiders, the very people he spent an entire campaign railing against.