Donald Trump’s pick as Labor Secretary telegraphs his plan to use the Executive Branch of the government to declare war on the rights and progress of US workers.
Bloomberg reported that Puzder is an opponent of raising the minimum wage and overtime pay for workers, “The selection of Puzder sheds light on what direction the Labor Department might take under Trump. Puzder has a long record of spoken and written remarks on job creation. As well as opposing efforts to raise the minimum wage, he’s against an Obama administration rule that would expand the number of workers eligible for overtime pay. The rule, which would affect about 4.2 million workers, was temporarily blocked by a federal judge in November.”
The Trump transition team announced the nomination, “Andy Puzder has created and boosted the careers of thousands of Americans, and his extensive record fighting for workers makes him the ideal candidate to lead the Department of Labor,” said President-elect Trump. “Andy will fight to make American workers safer and more prosperous by enforcing fair occupational safety standards and ensuring workers receive the benefits they deserve, and he will save small businesses from the crushing burdens of unnecessary regulations that are stunting job growth and suppressing wages.”
As CEO of Carl’s Jr. and Hardees, Puzder responded to a request from his workers for better wages by exploring automating all of his stores.
For all of his talk on the campaign trail of creating good jobs, as President-elect, Donald Trump has nominated a man to run the Labor Department who is fiercely opposed to labor.
Judging from his choice of Labor Secretary, Trump appears to be planning a full-scale war on the rights of American workers. The new overtime rules that President Obama championed will be gone. The progress that has been during the Obama years will be wiped out.
Trump was very careful during the campaign. He spoke about creating more jobs and good paying jobs, but he never specified what he meant by “good paying jobs.” The incoming administration also points to the labor participation rate as something that needs to be improved. In Republican eyes, the way to “increase the labor participation rate” is to cut benefits and programs that assist the unemployed and displaced workers while at the same time lowering wages so that people have to work more hours to make the same amount of money.
All of these policies are great for corporations, but they will send the wages and real incomes of American workers to new lows.
Trump pretended to be a populist billionaire during the campaign, but now that he is president, America should prepare for the powers of the Executive Branch to be used to hold down the nation’s working class.