And here we go again. Trump’s deplorable cabinet picks repeatedly confirm that Trump has no interest in fulfilling his populist campaign message of improving the lot of American workers. His selection of Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s CEO Andrew Puzder is just the latest evidence that the Trump administration is shaping up to be a true American catastrophe for everyone except rich people like Trump and most of his cabinet selections.
Puzder, whose fast-food restaurants employ thousands of minimum-wage workers, has written multiple op-ed pieces about his opposition to worker’s rights, like raising the minimum wage or raising the salary threshold for low-level managers to be exempt from the federal overtime pay requirement. In fact, he has threatened to automate his restaurants to eliminate workers, saying that the Obama administration’s wage and hour policies have made it impossible for his company to “afford workers.” He is one of those business owners who blame workers for their low wages, saying that if they worked harder they would get promoted to better-paying positions, which we all know happens ALL THE TIME in the fast food industry, for example, with its over 100 percent annual employee turnover rate. Here’s him whining in the Wall Street Journal about a proposed Labor Department rule that would require him to give his “managers,” who spend most of their time flipping burgers and cleaning grease traps, a raise in order to exempt them from overtime pay requirements:
President Obama on March 13 signed an order directing the Labor Department to expand the class of employees entitled to overtime pay. Currently, if a salaried employee makes more than $24,000 a year and is part of management—if he manages the business, directs the work of other employees, and has the authority to hire and fire—that employee is exempt from overtime coverage. The president wants to raise this salary threshold, perhaps as high as $50,000, demoting entry-level managers to glorified crew members by replacing their incentive to get results with an incentive to log more hours.
At issue is a growing inequality problem in the United States. Increasingly, Americans don’t have the career opportunities most took for granted a decade ago. Many are withdrawing from the labor force, frustrated because they’re unable to find a job and lured to depend on government rather than on themselves.
Rewarding time spent rather than time well spent won’t help address this problem. Workers who aspire to climb the management ladder strive for the opportunity to move from hourly-wage, crew-level positions to salaried management positions with performance-based incentives. What they lose in overtime pay they gain in the stature and sense of accomplishment that comes from being a salaried manager. This is hardly oppressive. To the contrary, it can be very lucrative for those willing to invest the time and energy, which explains why so many crew employees aspire to be managers.
Translation: I should be allowed to pay “managers” shitty salaries because that will cause the minimum wage workers to aspire to a dead-end, low-paid position in “management.” But hey, they can boast they get paid “salary,” right? Workers need their pride instead of mere money; let me keep the money and write anti-worker editorials for the right-wing Journal editorial page.
Of all the douchey lines in this anti-worker rant, this is the one that really smacks you in the face: “Rewarding time spent rather than time well spent won’t help address this problem,” the “problem” being the “growing inequality problem in the United States.” This rich CEO who runs fast-food sweatshops is literally saying that rewarding workers’ time with a living wage won’t address the income inequality problem. Paying people more money won’t give them more money? On what planet does that math work? The logic is seemingly convoluted but it all boils down to one simple principle:
Screw the workers.
At about the same time Trump was appointing this asshat Labor Secretary, he was Twitter-bullying a union president at the Indiana Carrier plant where Trump supposedly swooped in like Superman and personally saved a thousand jobs from being sent to Mexico. The poor union guy publicly called Trump a liar about the facts, because Trump is a liar about the facts concerning Carrier and every other subject. From the official Trump White House forum:
Chuck Jones, who is President of United Steelworkers 1999, has done a terrible job representing workers. No wonder companies flee country!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 8, 2016
Jones, like the college student who asked Trump a question about his attitude towards women at a rally last year and was the subject of a life-ruining Twitter attack that prompted Trump’s mad monkey brigade to send death and rape threats to her, has been deluged by emails and phone calls from the same group of insane Trumpers. Apparently attacking a union president wasn’t enough to satisfies Trump’s desire to lash out at anyone who crosses him. He decided to blame the workers themselves, the same hardhat types that voted for Trump. Here’s that Trump TwitterTurd:
If United Steelworkers 1999 was any good, they would have kept those jobs in Indiana. Spend more time working-less time talking. Reduce dues
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 8, 2016
Any of you still think Trump is fighting for the workers? They aren’t “any good,” according to the actual President-fucking-elect of the United States of America. They spend too much time talking and not enough working. The workers are to blame for a corporation reducing its costs by shipping jobs to Mexico.
And they voted for him.