#NotOurLaborSec: Fast Food Workers Protest Puzder at Corporate Offices and Chains Nationwide

Four U.S. Republican senators have not yet said whether they will support labor secretary nominee Andrew Puzder, raising suspense about whether he will survive an initial confirmation hearing this week. The Senate later voted to confirm Sessions. Notably, they're generally not challenging the point that Puzder's business background aligns him with conservative economic views. Collins told reporters Monday she is "going to wait until the issues that have arisen are fully explored" at Puzder's Thursday confirmation hearing. "We're stepping up our fight to demand that Puzder withdraw his nomination, and if he won't, then the U.S. Senate should reject him".

McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, said allegations of hiring undocumented workers have at times sunk cabinet nominees, but not always.

According to CKE's latest financial disclosures, Puzder makes as much as $10 million a year.

Nonetheless, she says the letter is necessary because the HELP committee's GOP chairman plans to limit each senator to only a few minutes of questions - and she has a lot of questions about his fitness for the job. "My job as Secretary of Labor, if confirmed, is to serve USA citizen workers". In interviews, speeches and op-eds, he has long argued that rules substantially increasing the minimum wage or expanding the number of people who qualify for overtime pay, for example, could drive up the cost of labor and decrease the number of jobs. During a Business Insider interview a year ago, Puzder said that because of rising labor costs, he would consider investing in machines to replace some workers, because "they never take a vacation, they never show up late, there's never a slip-and-fall, or an age, sex, or race discrimination case". And one thing is for sure, whether Puzder's nomination is confirmed, denied or withdrawn: "we won't back down for one minute in our demands for $15 an hour and union rights for all working Americans".

But George Thompson, a spokesman for Puzder, said that if confirmed, Puzder would recuse himself from any business related to CKE and would remain impartial when it comes to rulemaking and enforcement. He even said he wants to fire workers and replace them with machines that can't take vacations or sue their employers when they break the law.

For opponents of Puzder and Trump's administration in general, senators on the fence is a hopeful sign - a possibility at turning some over and causing a major upset for the White House.

Hundreds of fast food cooks and cashiers also gathered at the corporate offices in Anaheim.

Yet some businesses and Republicans say they look forward to having someone in the labor department who understands that regulations can force businesses to make tough calls.

Although Jeff Sessions and Betsy DeVos were protested heavily before they were each voted in and have awful optics as they enter their tenures, Puzder might end up with more trouble getting through the voting process.

Ortega said she expects at least 500 people will participate in the protest, including about 100 people from CLUE, which operates primarily in Orange and Los Angeles counties.

  • Larry Hoffman