On Thursday, news broke that President-elect Donald Trump would nominate fast food CEO Andy Puzder for labor secretary, according to the Wall Street Journal. Puzder is the CEO of CKE Restaurants Holdings Inc., which includes Hardee's and Carl's Jr. Puzder has not only contributed to Trump's presidential campaign, but he has served as an adviser to it, as well.
Trump's reported choice of Puzder to head the Department of Labor would be a huge blow to advocates hoping to raise the federal minimum wage. According to the Wall Street Journal, Puzder has opposed raising the federal minimum wage to higher than $9 an hour. In 2014, Puzder wrote in an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, "The point is simple: The feds can mandate a higher wage, but some jobs don’t produce enough economic value to bear the increase. If government could transform unskilled entry-level positions into middle-income jobs, the Soviet Union would be today’s dominant world economy. Spain and Greece would be thriving."
Puzder also told Business Insider he was interested in exploring how to use automated technology to lower labor costs. "With government driving up the cost of labor, it's driving down the number of jobs," Puzder said in a March interview.
Pudzer has strongly spoken out against government "over-regulation" and has praised and promoted Trump as a future president who would push de-regulation of the restaurant industry. “President-elect Trump has called for an immediate halt to all new federal regulations and a very thorough agency-level review of previous regulations to see which need to be scrapped,” Pudzer said when speaking at a Restaurant Finance & Development Conference, reported USA Today. “We’ve reached the point where over-regulation is doing meaningful damage to our businesses."
Should Trump officially nominate Pudzer and he be confirmed, he would "arguably have less experience in government than any labor secretary since the early 1980s, when President Ronald Reagan appointed a longtime construction executive named Raymond J. Donovan," the New York Times Noam Scheiber and Maggie Haberman noted. That might be fitting, though, since Trump is arguably the president with the least experience in government in nearly a century.