In less than a month President Barack Obama will leave office and Donald Trump will be sworn in as President.
We are beginning to get glimpses of the Trump agenda through his nominees for Cabinet positions, which are alarming.
The President- elects’ nominee for Labor Secretary is especially troubling.He has tapped fast-food CEO Andrew Puzder to head the federal agency responsible for ensuring workplace safety, wage and hour standards, and unemployment insurance benefits.
It’s hard to imagine a nominee who is less supportive of the mission of the Department of Labor than Puzder. He is on record opposing a meaningful increase in the minimum wage and talks about replacing employees with machines. Puzder is the CEO of the parent company of fast food chains Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr.’s. Several class action suits have been filed against the company for failing to pay overtime. In a recent audit by the Department of Labor of fast food chains, nearly half of the Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr.’s had at least one wage and hour violation. He is critical of paid sick leave policies recently enacted for federal contractors and strongly supports repealing the Affordable Care Act which provides health insurance for 20 million Americans and funds local government health care services.
We are looking forward to the Senate confirmation hearings where he can be fully questioned about his views and priorities for working families.
How does that affect us locally? Local governments depend on the federal government for health, social services, law enforcement, transportation and affordable housing funds. This is work that Local 21 members do to benefit residents who are counting on these services to stay healthy, get to work, stay safe, address mental health issues and all the numerous things that local government does. Federal changes that are anti-working families will affect funding for these services.
Now is the time to stand up and take action. Many Members have asked how they can be more involved. We have begun posting actions that members can take and other ways to get involved on our Facebook page. Please “like” us on Facebook to stay on top of activities around the Bay Area.
While there may be issues that we can support the President- elect on, like truly rebuilding America’s infrastructure, on many others we will strongly oppose him. If we stand together and take action, we will win some of those battles.