Current employees at Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. defended President Donald Trump’s pick to head up the Department of Labor during a panel discussion on Capitol Hill Tuesday.
The panel, hosted by the Employment Policies Institute, included four employees that work at fast food restaurants operating as franchises under CKE Restaurants, where Trump’s pick is the current CEO. Republican Rep. Virginia Foxx from North Carolina — the new chairwoman for the House Committee on Education & the Workforce — was also present at the discussion. Foxx is defended Andy Puzder following his nomination
Puzder, Trump’s nominee to head up the Department of Labor, has been attacked intensely by labor unions and activist groups hoping to block his confirmation. (RELATED: Fight For $15 Movement Attempts To Tie Andy Puzder To Unrelated Lawsuits)
“The think tanks and union bosses behind this smear campaign want another community organizer as Labor Secretary,” Foxx explained Tuesday. “Someone who will push their extreme, partisan agenda,” she continued.
“Andy is a good man,” Foxx added, saying that, “Through hard work, sacrifice and determination, he’s achieved the american dream, like so many other people that we know.”
“More importantly, as a successful leader at CKE restaurants, he’s helped countless men and women achieve their own dreams and reach their own potential,” she said in defense of the fast food executive.
“I’ve been there for about four months now,” Corina Ortiz, from Albany, Oregon said about her new job at a Carl’s, Jr. “I plan to continue working there. I enjoy what I’m doing so far, I feel like I’m respected and supported,” Ortiz told a gaggle of reporters and capitol hill staffers. “It’s a great place to work, and I’ve liked it a lot so far,” she continued.
“I needed to go back to work, and no one wanted to hire me. I was 59 years old, I’m overweight, and no one wanted to hire me,” Patsy Eskilson, a Hardee’s employee in Lake City, Florida explained. “I went into Hardee’s, and Susan [The manager] interviewed me, and I left with a job my first day there,” Eskilson said, visibly holding back tears. “Working at Hardee’s, we are one big happy family,” Eskilson asserted.
The Daily Caller News Foundation asked the employees to respond to the series of attacks from union-backed groups against Puzder and his record as CEO of CKE Restaurants. Eskilson did not mince words in her response:
“If you have as many employees, as work for Hardee’s and Carl’s, Jr., if you have just a few [complaints], and I think it said thirty, and I happen to know we have over 75,000 employees, if you have thirty complaints, I think we’re doing great,” Eskilson responded. “Because you’re never going to make everybody happy, never. And anyone that says that you can, needs to grow up,” she concluded.
Ann Devane, who also works at Hardee’s in Lake City, Florida, and Cherie Abarquez, who works at a Carl’s Jr. in Bakersfield, Calif. were also present at the discussion and defended Puzder and the culture at CKE-franchised restaurants.
The panel discussion follows weeks of attacks against Puzder, who has been a vocal critic of former President Obama’s labor policies, and says that a $15 minimum wage will only result in massive layoffs for low-wage workers.
Supporters of Puzder voiced their frustration with attempts to tie Puzder to lawsuits that are not filed against CKE restaurants or Puzder. (RELATED: Inside The Union-Backed Campaign To Block Andy Puzder)
Puzder’s confirmation hearing was delayed for a fourth time, as Senate Democrats and labor unions continue to push against the vocal Obama-critic. The hearing was set for Feb. 7, but has been postponed in order to allow the fast food executive more time to disclose his financials.
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