Government

Ryan, Policy Matters Praise Pudzer Withdrawal

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan and an Ohio advocacy group hailed the withdrawal of President Trump’s nominee for labor secretary yesterday.

Andrew F. Puzder, chief executive of CKE Restaurants, which owns the Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. fast-food chains, stepped down from consideration amid opposition from Democrats and labor regarding his business practices, including his support of automation.

Opposition among Republicans also was mounting, with conservative publications weighing in against Pudzer’s nomination over his employment of an undocumented immigrant as a housekeeper. Accusations of spousal abuse accusations by his ex-wife in their 1988 divorce that were later recanted also resurfaced to cloud his nomination.

Ryan, D-13 Ohio, called it “unacceptable” that Trump would appoint another nominee who stood to benefit while working against the vision of the agency he was supposed to run.

“The secretary of labor should be someone who is always willing to go to bat for hard working men and women across the United States. Making sure workers are safe and fairly compensated should be the top priorities of any labor secretary, but from what we know of Mr. Pudzer’s record, he would not have lived up to those most basic standards,” Ryan said. “Pudzer’s hostility towards increasing the minimum wage and fair compensation for overtime work underscored that while Puzder made millions, his own workers were forced to struggle to get by.”

Policy Matters Ohio called Puzder’s decision to step down good news for Ohio workers who depend on Labor to protect their rights. Hannah Halbert, Policy Matters researcher, noted the state legislature recently barred cities and other municipalities from improving on state wage laws.

“With only six state investigators, Ohio has one of the most poorly staffed wage and hour divisions in the nation. Because the legislature has failed to address these gaps, much is left to the federal Department of Labor,” Halbert said. “With his poor record as a fast food CEO, Andy Puzder couldn’t be trusted to protect the safety and pocketbooks of our friends and neighbors.”

Halbert called on the Trump administration to nominate a “true advocate for workers,” with a record of standing up for working people, supporting unionization and encouraging better jobs.

Pictured: Andrew Pudzer.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.