Union activists behind the Fight for $15 movement continue to smear President Donald Trump’s pick to lead the Department of Labor (DOL), Andy Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants.
Leading Fight for $15 activists, including Kendall Fells, the movement’s organizing director, attempted to tie Puzder to lawsuits filed against individual fast-food franchises on a press call Thursday. The restaurants are CKE franchises. (Inside The Union-Backed Campaign To Smear Puzder)
Activists featured three employees from restaurant franchises under CKE, and read statements that tied Puzder to their individual lawsuits. The employees are not suing CKE.
“These workers are braving threats and retaliation, because they know first had what a disaster Andy Puzder would be,” Fells said.
While blasting certain Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. franchisees for asking workers to refrain from talking to the press, Fells said workers who were on the call to discuss their complaints would not be available to the media for comment.
At one point, an unidentified Fight for $15 organizer admitted that “these cases aren’t charging CKE responsible,” but asserted that “It’s clear that CKE bears responsibility.”
Leading activists admitted on the call that all of the complaints have been filed against individual franchises, not CKE restaurants. Reporters questioned the activists if it was fair to tie Puzder to complaints that have not actually been filed against him or his company, to which the activists did not have a clear response.
While the DOL and the National Labor Relations Board have taken an expanded view of whether corporations are joint employers and share liability with franchisees or subcontractors under the Obama administration, there is at present no evidence that either agency has ever deemed CKE a joint employer, according to a Bloomberg BNA report.
Labor unions, including the SEIU, are scrambling to interrupt Trump’s pick for Labor, who has articulated his position that a $15 minimum wage would lead to job losses for low wage employees.
Fells openly admitted that there was no studies or economic analysis that went into deciding the minimum wage should be raised to $15. Instead, Fells said in a video that they picked $15 because it “made sense,” because it was in-between $10 and $20.
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