Reaction as Puzder withdraws nomination to be Trump’s labor secretary

The Wisconsin Gazette

President Donald Trump’s nominee for labor secretary has withdrawn from consideration. Fast food executive Andrew Puzder said in a statement provided to The Associated Press that he was “honored to have been considered by President Donald Trump to lead the Department of Labor and put America’s workers and businesses back on a path to sustainable prosperity.”

Here’s early reaction to the news from progressive voices:

Darin Brooks, a Hardee’s worker and a member of Raise Up $15, the Fight for $15 chapter in Durham, N.C.:

“When Donald Trump first tapped Andy Puzder to be labor secretary, fast-food workers told the President that if he sided with fast-food CEOs instead of fast-food workers, he’d be on the wrong side of history. We rallied outside Puzder’s stores nationwide and showed America how his burger empire was built on low pay, wage theft, sexual harassment and intimidation. And today, we are on the right side of history. This is a major victory for the Fight for $15, but we can’t and won’t back down until the Trump Administration gives us a real labor secretary who will put working people over corporate profits.”

Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights: “While we welcome the news that Andrew Puzder will not be our next Secretary of Labor, it is incumbent upon the president to nominate someone who will fully respect the laws designed to protect American workers.  The record clearly showed that Puzder was not the right person for this critically important job.

“Workers in America deserve a Secretary of Labor who will work to improve their economic opportunities, advocate for raising the minimum wage, respect the right of workers to organize collectively, strengthen economic and retirement security, improve overtime protections, and vigorously enforce non-discrimination protections and the Fair Labor Standards Act.

“The next Secretary of Labor must honor the legacy of Frances Perkins and fully enforce the laws and regulations that safeguard workers.  Whomever is nominated must be an advocate for workers and not a lapdog for corporate interests.”

Food & Water Watch executive director Wenonah Hauter:

“Today, fast food mogul Andy Puzder announced he will bow out of the running to be Labor Secretary. The controversial CEO of Hardees and Carl’s Jr. had attracted criticism from a wide range of groups opposed to his corporate ties and unsavory views on labor.

“Puzder is in no way qualified to set our nation’s labor standards or to lift up our workers, and apparently even he knows that. Puzder opposes the minimum wage and rules to protect workers. Installing him as Labor Secretary would have had extremely negative consequences for the safety of poultry workers and USDA inspectors who have had to endure intolerable conditions in plants that have been under investigation by OSHA.

“The Department of Labor should be just that — a voice for America’s workers, not America’s corporations. Like the rest of Trump’s cabinet, Puzder was an inappropriate choice. Of course, who the President taps to replace him is anyone’s guess.”

Communications Workers of America:

“The withdrawal of Andrew Puzder for consideration as Secretary of Labor is a victory for working families and demonstrates the power of grassroots resistance and mobilizing against corporate greed.”

“Puzder was an outrageous pick for Labor Secretary and to head an agency responsible for promoting “the welfare of wage earners, job seekers and retirees.” His long record of public statements and action opposing a fair minimum wage, overtime pay and other basic policies that support working families made him an unacceptable choice.”

“The Department of Labor is supposed to be on the side of working people when it comes to keeping jobs safe, stopping employer abuse and safeguarding workers’ rights on the job. That’s what working people are looking for from the Secretary of Labor.”