Fast food workers rally against Puzder

The fight for $15 per hour for workers continues from last year. Last Thursday from coast to coast, protestors rally in front of fast food restaurants. Here in the metro the demonstrators rally in Old Northeast neighborhood at Hardee’s restaurant at 6323 Independence Ave Kansas City, MO.

Bridget Hughes said, “I work for Burger King making $9 an hour. I am a wife and a mother of four and even with my husband’s income, we struggle to make ends meet which is why I joined Stand Up KC, for the fight for $15 and union rights.”

“We were protesting outside of Hardee’s on Independence Ave because the CEO of Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr., Andrew Puzder, is up for nomination as the Secretary of Labor, so we are letting him know that he is not our Secretary of Labor and he is not the right choice for working Americans.”

“Andrew Puzder, as the CEO of Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr., is responsible for his companies who have violated numerous worker’s rights. He also doesn’t support raising the minimum wage and families like mine just cannot survive on $7.65 an hour.” 

“He has also been quoted saying that he wants to replace his workers with machines because machines can’t sue him for sexual harassment, discrimination, wage theft and personally if I’m at work and I’m sexually harassed or discriminated against, I’m going to file a complaint.”

According to Stand Up KC fast-food Mogul Andy Puzder opposes minimum wage hikes, steals workers’ Pay, violates overtime laws, and forces employees onto public assistance

According to CKE’s financial disclosures, Puzder, who is the fast-food company’s CEO, was paid between $4 million and $10 million in recent years, which means he makes more in one day than he pays his minimum wage workers in one year. Despite this, he has been an outspoken opponent of minimum wage hikes that would allow his workers to meet their basic needs. Researchers at the University of California at Berkeley found in 2013 that fast-food CEOs like Puzder cost taxpayers $7.3 billion per year in public assistance by holding down pay for their employees.

Puzder has also opposed basic protections and workers’ rights, like meal and rest breaks for employees working long hours. Puzder has also supported repealing the Affordable Care Act and cuts to Medicaid, even while he forces his own workers to rely on these programs by denying them health care.

As labor secretary, Puzder would be charged with upholding many of the labor laws and regulations CKE routinely violated during his time as CEO. In 60 percent of Department of Labor investigations since 2009, CKE restaurants and franchises were found to have violated wage and hour laws. Since Puzder became CEO of CKE in 2000, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which falls under the DOL, has found 98 safety violations at Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s locations, with 36 of them capable of causing death or grave physical harm.

Puzder’s confirmation battle follows an election defined by workers’ frustration with a rigged economy that benefits the few at the top, and after a banner year in the fight for $15/hr and union rights. Nineteen states raised pay for 4.3 million working people at the end of 2016, including in four states where voters approved minimum wage ballot initiatives on Election Day 2016. In the four states, “yes” votes exceeded the vote totals for either of the major parties’ presidential candidates – striking proof of the broad public support for raising wages across party lines and in different regions of the country. The New Yorker recently hailed its successes as one of the five biggest business stories of 2016.

Since fast-food workers launched the Fight for $15 over four years ago, the movement has won wage hikes for 22 million underpaid workers, including more than 10 million who are on their way to $15/hour, by convincing everyone from voters to politicians to corporations to raise pay. The movement, which has resulted in $62 billion raises for America’s workers, was credited as one of the reasons median income jumped last year by the highest percentage since the 1960s.