Society

Trump's Labor Secretary Pick Laughs At Employee Breaks

| by Ray Brown

President-elect Donald Trump's choice for Labor Secretary is not a big fan of giving breaks to employees, according to a 2009 interview.

Andrew Puzder, the CEO of CKE Restaurants, the parent company of fast-food chains Carl's Jr. and Hardee's, who was nominated by Trump in December to be the next Labor Secretary, gave an interview to the Southern California Food Culture and Visionaries project at California State University at Fullerton's Center for Oral and Public History in 2009 where he talked about his disdain for California's work culture.

“I think the big change in California, it's really become a kind of socialist state," Puzder said, according to OC Weekly, which uncovered the interview. "You can't be a capitalist in this state, and Carl [Karcher, the founder of Carl's Jr.] was at heart a capitalist who created a company that to this day bears his initials."

Puzder went on to bash California's laws on breaks for hourly employees.

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"Have you ever been to a fast food restaurant and the employees are sitting and you're wondering, 'Why are they sitting?' They are on what is called a mandatory break [emphasis his],” Puzder said with a laugh.

The State of California requires employers to give hourly employees a paid 10-minute break for every 4 hours worked, according to CalLaborLaw.com.

Since being nominated to Labor Secretary, Puzder has been criticized by labor rights groups for his opposition to raising the minimum wage.

According to The New York Times, Puzder opposed President Barack Obama's administration's failed efforts to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $10.10 per hour.

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"Putting one of the worst fast food CEOs in charge of national labor policy sends a signal to workers that the Trump years are going to be about low pay, wage theft, sexual harassment and racial discrimination. Instead of taking on the rigged economy, it seems like Trump wants to rig it up even more," said Carl's Jr. cook Rogelio Hernandez and Hardee's cashier Lacretia Jones in a statement after Puzder's nomination, reported CNN.

Sources: OC Weekly, The New York Times, CNN, CaLaborLaw.com / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

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