US President-elect Donald Trump has named Andy Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants Inc, to lead the country's Department of Labour.
US President-elect Donald Trump has named Andy Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants Inc, to lead the country’s Department of Labour. At a time when Trump has promised to create jobs for thousands of unemployed American youths, Puzder’s appointment has worried a number of people. For Puzder comes with a reputation of having an apathy towards the presence of humans at workplaces. Secondly, the fast food businessman staunchly opposes a rise in minimum wages for the workers.
Puzder’s dream to replace humans with robots is driven by the fact that machines are “always polite” and they never take leave. Sharing his vision to replace humans with robots in his restaurants, Puzder had told Business Insider in March this year: “They’re (robots) always polite, they always upsell, they never take a vacation, they never show up late, there’s never a slip-and-fall, or an age, sex, or race discrimination case.”
CKE Restaurants Inc operates the Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s fast-food chains in the US.
On several occasions in past, Puzder opposed the proposal to raise the minimum wage for workers. He has even rubbished a Labor Department rule that could have extended overtime pay for over four million workers in the US.
During the election campaign, Hillary Clinton had promised to raise the minimum wage for workers, but Trump believed that higher wages would lead to the closure of small businesses. This is the reason why Trump has named Puzder as the new labour department chief.
In a statement released by the Trump transition team, the US President-elect praised Puzder for his “record fighting for workers”.
“He (Puzder) will save small businesses from the crushing burdens of unnecessary regulations that are stunting job growth and suppressing wages,” Trump said.
For long, the US authorities, including outgoing President Barack Obama, have rued the “export” of American jobs countries like India and China because of the availability of cheap labour in these countries.
With Puzder’s appointment, Trump has signalled how he wants to attract companies by providing them cheap American labour. However, this could also mean an attack on the robust labour unions in the US.
(Inputs from agencies)