Labor groups: Trump's Labor secretary pick 'appalling'

Labor groups: Trump's Labor secretary pick 'appalling'
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Labor advocates are lining up to rip President-elect Donald TrumpDonald TrumpGrant Woods, longtime friend of McCain and former Arizona AG, dies at 67 Super PACs release ad campaign hitting Vance over past comments on Trump Glasgow summit raises stakes for Biden deal MORE's Labor secretary pick.

Trump chose Andy Puzder, CEO of a major fast-food chain, to lead his Labor Department, angering labor groups nationwide.


Debra Ness, president of the National Partnership for Women & Families, on Thursday called Trump’s choice “appalling” and a betrayal, even before the president-elect made the selection official.

“Andrew Puzder is an appalling choice to serve as U.S. Secretary of Labor — a stunning and unwelcome departure from the dedicated and powerful champions who have held that post in recent years, and who have helped advance policies like fair pay, paid sick days and paid family and medical leave that are critical to the well-being of workers and families, businesses and our economy,” Ness said in a statement.

“The expected Puzder nomination betrays America’s workers, especially women and people of color whose rights he has worked to erode."

Puzder, the CEO of CKE Restaurants — the parent company of burger chains Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s — has been an outspoken opponent of President Obama’s controversial rule expanding overtime pay to about 4 million Americans. 

The rule, on hold by a Texas court order, mandates companies pay overtime to most salaried workers who earn less than $47,476 annually. 

Mary Kay Henry, president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), said the nomination shows how out-of-touch Trump is with what working Americans need. 

“Working families, including those who elected him, issued a mandate for economic change because they are sick and tired of working longer and harder than ever but still struggling to build a better future for their families,” Henry said in a statement. 

“Puzder has proven he doesn't support working people: he opposes raises to the minimum wage, even though every time Americans have been called to vote for raises on the ballot, they always do.”

The American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) called Puzder the “wrong choice.”

"With Mr. Puzder’s nomination, Mr. Trump is choosing the wrong model for helping the working and middle classes — and businesses that depend on healthy consumer demand,” the ASBC’s CEO David Levine said in a statement.

“A race to the bottom will not build an economy with opportunity for all. Instead it will usher in policies that cripple sustainable economic growth in the long-term.”

Industry groups, meanwhile, welcomed the news.

The National Retail Federation (NRF) called Puzder an ally with real-world experience.

“Mr. Puzder has been an ally in our efforts to emphasize the dynamic careers available in the retail and restaurant industries, and he would bring to the job his experience in balancing the needs of all stakeholders in the American workforce,” David French, the NRF’s senior vice president for government relations, said in a statement.

This story was updated at 5:52 p.m.