The cold winter winds blowing down Broad Street didn’t hinder protestors from showing their disapproval for Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Labor, Andy Puzder.
“What do we want?!””Fifteen!””And when do we want it?””Now!”
Fast food workers and union supporters chanted as part of the nationwide protest against Puzder. They gathered in front of the McDonalds on Broad and Arch Streets to demand he withdraw his nomination. If that doesn’t happen, they called on Senators to reject the nomination.
Originally from Clevland, Ohio, Puzder is the CEO of CKE – a company that owns fast food restaurants Carl’s Jr and Hardee’s. In 2010, Puzder co-wrote the book “Job Creation: How It Really Works and Why Government Doesn’t Understand It.”
Protester, Alicia Hamiel, is not impressed by Puzder’s career history and has a different view of him altogether.”He has already violated labor laws and has been investigated for sexual harassment. He doesn’t like to give workers overtime and likes to cuts hours. If he’s going to do that with his own industry, than how are we going to appoint him secretary of labor for all industries?” she asked.
Hamiel works at minimum wage, making $7.25 an hour. “I have a one year old son at home and I’m also about to have another baby. I need more money and it’s not going to work with him being secretary of labor.”
According to protesters and those pressuring for a higher minimum wage, Puzder’s restaurants have a long history of worker abuse and violations. Some of the accusations include 33 complaints with state and federal agencies alleging wage theft, discrimination, sexual harassment, and retaliation and intimidation against workers.
In addition, Puzder is under scrutiny for allegedly not paying required taxes on a housekeeper he employed.
“Andrew Puzder has an incredibly anti-worker track record,” said Gabe Morgan, vice president of 32-BJ and Service Employees International Union. “This is a guy whose own company has routinely violated OSHA rules, who has said that the minimum wage is too high, and said that overtime rules should be pulled back. How can the department of labor which was created to actually protect wage earning workers from employers just like him, now be run by a fast food CEO?”
McDonald’s CEO recently came out in support of Puzder garnering more protesters to stand up. This protest comes days ahead of Puzder’s confirmation hearing.
As the protests hit the streets across the country, supporters of the nominee, including the National Restaurant Association began a campaign to defend Puzder. Saying he would be great for the labor department because his history in creating new jobs.