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Trump’s Labor Pick May Impact Minimum Wage

Wages

President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for the secretary of labor position in his new administration may have been impacts on the state of minimum wage increases.

On Thursday (Dec. 8), Trump selected Andrew Puzder, who is CEO at CKE and also a well-known critic of the worker restrictions enacted during President Obama’s term, for the role, the New York Times reported.

CKE is the company that franchises the Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. fast-food chains, which employ roughly 75,000 workers in the U.S. Puzder is considered to have an expertise in in labor law and business, with the Wall Street Journal noting that he has contributed to the media outlet, writing on topics ranging from restaurant automation to unintended consequences of a $15 minimum wage.

“Andy Puzder has created and boosted the careers of thousands of Americans, and his extensive record fighting for workers makes him the ideal candidate to lead the Department of Labor,” Trump said in a statement.

The NYT said Puzder fits the profile of some of the other domestic cabinet appointments Trump has selected, adding that he has a long record of promoting a conservative agenda and taking aim at President Obama’s legacy.

Not only does Puzder oppose the minimum wage increase, he has also spoken out against President Obama’s recent rule expanding eligibility for overtime pay, criticized paid sick leave policies for federal contractors and said the Affordable Care Act created a “government-mandated restaurant recession.”

Richard Trumka, president of the A.F.L.-C.I.O., described Puzder as “a man whose business record is defined by fighting against working people.”

However, earlier this year Puzder appeared on Fox Business and said he was “not opposed to raising the minimum wage rationally; I’m opposed to raising it to the point where lower-skilled workers, working-class Americans, young people, minorities, are losing the jobs they need to get on the ladder of success.”

Only time will tell what impact Puzder will have on the minimum wage down the road.

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