HOUSTON (FOX 26) - A group of Houstonians is hoping to keep President Donald Trump's choice for Labor Secretary from being confirmed and they are not alone. Clinching the confirmation for Carl's Jr chief executive Andrew Puzder will not be easy. Here in Houston and across the country a number of groups are rallying, wanting Puzder's nomination for Labor Secretary withdrawn.
“Seven twenty-five isn’t enough to survive" chanted a group fighting for low wage workers as they protested Puzder’s nomination in front of Carl’s Jr. on Main Street. This is isn’t the only group grimacing at the thought of Puzder being appointed to Secretary of Labor.
”He says he doesn't want to raise minimum wage. The minimum wage is $7.25 and as a family we can't survive on $7.25. It's not enough. He makes what we make in a year, he makes that in a day, in one day. I don't think that's fair. If we make it for them. They need to share with us,” explains Isaiah Sapon with the group "Fight for $15”.
"Fifteen dollars is not an extravagant amount of money. It's a living wage. It’s what fast food workers need to make to support their family. This administration wants to focus on having the top one percent make more money while the people who are suffering, struggling and who work day to day can not survive,” says United We Dream Houston member Oscar Hernandez.
Puzder's company CKE Restaurants, which owns the fast food restaurants Carl's Jr. and Hardee's has had a number of labor violations regarding unpaid overtime, poor wage practices and a restriction of benefits and many accuse him of profiting, earning his fortune by violating worker’s rights.
"For the labor movement the only thing worse than someone from the fast food industry would be someone coming from the sweat shop industry,” explains Rice University Political Science Professor Mark Jones. Jones also points out there are spousal abuse accusations against Puzder. "Add into that social conservatives uncomfortable with his portrayal of women in ads and then also many conservatives are uncomfortable with the fact he employed an undocumented immigrant for many years,” says Jones.
Many are asking how can someone with this background be appointed to represent workers? “Low wages with low benefit jobs, exactly the type of jobs they don't want to proliferate in the United States,” adds Jones.
We should know by Friday if Puzder's nomination will be confirmed or withdrawn.