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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, December 9, 2016 - Volume 44 Issue 50
Sen. Patty Murray condemns Trump's Secretary of Labor pick

Trump names fast food billionaire to enforce labor laws
Section One
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Sen. Patty Murray condemns Trump's Secretary of Labor pick

Trump names fast food billionaire to enforce labor laws

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Sen. Murray has condemned Donald Trump's nomination of Andrew Puzder to the post of Secretary of Labor.

In contrast to President Obama's Secretaries of Labor - both of them civil rights attorneys - Trump has nominated a fast food billionaire who opposes basic workplace protections, including the minimum wage and overtime pay.

In a statement released December 8, Murray, Washington's senior senator and ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, said she was 'alarmed' by Puzder's nomination.

'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,' she said.

'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 is currently chief executive of the company that operates Hardee's and Carl's Jr. fast food chains. He has been an outspoken critic of the worker protections enacted by the Obama administration, including measures to expand eligibility for overtime pay and the minimum wage.

He strongly supports the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, which he maintains has helped create a 'restaurant recession' because rising premiums have left middle- and working-class people with less money to spend dining out.

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