Donald Trump didn’t really appoint Walter White, the guy from Breaking Bad, to run the DEA, but his nomination of fast-food CEO Andrew “women are meat” Puzder to be Labor Secretary sure comes close.
Puzder “Fails Every Test of a Labor Secretary”
In December, Ross Eisenbrey of the Economic Policy Institute wrote of Puzder’s nomination, Andrew Puzder fails every test for a Labor Secretary
He’s opposed to the new overtime rule that gave the right to time and a half pay to millions of salaried employees earning less than $47,476 a year. Wal-Mart has already raised its managers’ pay, as did about half of all big retailers, even before the rule was supposed to take effect on December 1. But Puzder wants to kill it so he can keep working low-paid employees without paying them a dime extra for their overtime hours.
But Wait, There’s More
But wait, there’s more. So much more. And then there’s more.
The committee hearing for Puzder is finally scheduled for this Thursday. Why did it take so long? Because he wouldn’t turn in his ethics-check forms, including his financial disclosure. He only finally reluctantly turned them in last week.
With four Republican senators “on the fence” about Puzder, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer calling on Puzder to withdraw his nomination, there’s a lot going on.
As the New York Democrat said, “You could not have picked a worse nominee to uphold these goals than Andew Puzder. Everything in his career is antithetical to the goals of the Department of Labor.”
And More: Women Are Meat
This is from Vox’s Trump’s labor secretary pick: “I like beautiful women eating burgers in bikinis,”
But what makes Puzder a particularly Trumpian pick is his attitude toward women. Like Trump, Puzder is very open about how much he enjoys objectifying women, and how he likes to use that objectification as a business strategy.
A Labor secretary who sees women as meat, as objects. Of course, he sees all working people as disposable commodities. Just what we need to make America Great for the working class.
And More: Throws Away Undocumented Domestic Worker
Last week it surfaced that Puzder had hired an undocumented immigrant as his family’s nanny. This means Trump’s nominee for secretary of Labor “paid her under the table” along with numerous other personal violations of labor rules. And when the news came out he said it was OK because he had fired her — discarded her like a disposable commodity.
But, of course, that’s what his fast-food chains does with all its employees. One employee of a Puzder-run fast-food chain describes this in, Everything
Andrew Puzder will be a disaster for workers. I know: He was for me,
I already know what Trump/Puzder economics look like because I’m living it every day. Despite giving everything I had to Puzder’s company for 21 years, I left without a penny of savings, with no health care and no pension. Now, while I live in poverty, Trump, who promised to fix the rigged economy, has chosen for labor secretary someone who wants to rig it up even more. He’s chosen the chief executive of a company who recently made more than $10 million in a year, while I’m scraping by on Supplemental Security payments.
A secretary of Labor who sees working people as throw-away commodities. Great. Just great.
And More: Serial Labor Violations
Andy Puzder runs CKE Restaurants, which includes fast-food chains Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. They have a terrible labor compliance record. Kira Lerner at Think Progress writes about this in, The CEO of a chain that underpays and mistreats workers is about to lead the Labor Department,
People employed by Puzder have sued for discrimination, filed class action lawsuits over the denial of overtime pay, and alleged that they were fired for protesting the chain’s low wages.
Lerner’s report is long, because it lists details of labor law violation after violation.
More recently CKE was hit with 33 new charges. Puzder’s runs a company as a serial-labor-law violator.
And More: Domestic Abuse
Rachel Maddow had a great segment Monday night on Andy “Women Are Meat” Puzder that included news that a videotape of his ex-wife on the Oprah show has been found, and is being seem by embers of the Senate. Politico has that story in their report, Oprah gives tape with Puzder abuse allegations to Senate,
Senators in both parties have viewed an episode of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” in which President Donald Trump’s Labor secretary nominee Andrew Puzder’s former wife leveled allegations of physical abuse against him, according to sources familiar with the matter.
The decades-old video, which is not easily found, has been provided by the Oprah Winfrey Network, those sources said. The video has been provided to senators in a Capitol Hill office building, according to people who have seen it.
And More: Conflict Of Interest Emerges From Financial Disclosure
So Puzder finally filed his financial disclosure forms. They show that he owes millions to a convicted bank that is seeking a Labor Department waiver from being punished for its crimes.
Puzder has both investments and loans with the bank UBS. As Labor Secretary Puzder would be in a position to grant UBS a waiver of potential punishments that could be imposed on UBS following the bank’s conviction for manipulating interest rates (after the bank had agreed to follow the law as it punishment in an earlier prosecution agreement).
Yes, that’s right, UBS was caught violating the law, its punishment was to agree to follow the law thereafter, and it didn’t. So now Puzder will be in a position to grant UBS a waiver from punishment.
David Sirota, writing for International Business Times, in Donald Trump’s Labor Secretary Pick Andrew Puzder Owed Millions to UBS As Bank Seeks Waiver from Sanctions explains,
President Donald Trump’s nominee to head the U.S. Department of Labor personally owed millions of dollars to a convicted bank that is relying on the same department to waive sanctions for its crimes, according to federal records. The ties between Trump’s embattled appointee Andrew Puzder and the multinational bank UBS were listed in federal documents reviewed by International Business Times — but they were not explicitly acknowledged in Puzder’s ethics agreement with federal regulators.
. . .In 2009, UBS admitted to the Justice Department that it had “participated in a scheme to defraud the United States” by helping customers evade taxes. In 2015, UBS plead guilty to manipulating interest rates in violation of a previous deferred prosecution agreement. The case — in which prosecutors determined the bank engaged in “deceptive currency trading and sales practices” — could trigger federal prohibitions designed to prevent convicted banks from managing billions of dollars of workers’ pension money.
But if Puzder’s nomination is confirmed by the U.S. Senate, he would head a Labor Department empowered to waive such punishments.
Puzder didn’t clearly show this in his forms, Sirota continues,
In his February 7th agreement with federal ethics officials, Puzder detailed the specific investments he promised to divest himself from and avoid as Labor Secretary. While he pledged to avoid participating in any matter “in which I know that I have a financial interest directly and predictably affected by the matter,” he did not list his UBS holdings as among the 226 specific investments he pledged to divest from, nor did he explicitly say he would avoid the Labor Department’s UBS-related business.
A secretary of Labor who can grant waivers to a bank he has investments with and loans from. Great.
And More: Home-Town Demonstration
Having sold his Montecito, California mansion to a “porn mogul” for $8 million, Puzder moved to Tennessee.
His latest home town of Franklin, Tennessee, held a demonstration asking him to withdraw his nomination and stick around. From Patch, Scores Gather in Franklin to Oppose Labor Secretary Nominee Andrew Puzder,
Upwards of 100 people marched into Franklin’s town square Saturday urging President Donald Trump’s nominee for Labor Secretary, fast-food CEO Andrew Puzder, to withdraw from consideration and enjoy the bucolic lifestyle and pastoral quiet of Williamson County.
The march was organized by Nashville Indivisible and Middle Tennessee Jobs with Justice.
Thursday federal contract workers will hold a massive strike at Upper Senate Park to protest Andrew Puzder’s nomination and to fight-back against the Republican war on workers.
The call for a strike is supported by Good Jobs Defenders, a coalition of unions and advocacy organizations — including Change to Win, Our Revolution, the Communications Workers of America, National Nurses United, Bend the Arc Jewish Action, Patriotic Millionaires and CREDO — joining together to hold Trump accountable to the working class.
There will be a rally Thursday morning in Washington, D.C. in support of the strikers at 8:45 a.m. in Upper Senate Park. Speakers will include Ben Jealous, founding Chair of Good Jobs Defenders; and business leaders, along with lawmakers. Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, Rep. Keith Ellison and additional members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus will be there.
You can watch this rally live by clicking this link.
And you can sign this petition to tell your senator to stop Andy Puzder
This post originally appeared at Campaign for America’s Future (CAF) at their OurFuture site. I am a Fellow with CAF, a project of People’s Action. Sign up here for the OurFuture daily summary and/or for People’s Action’s Progressive Breakfast.