Saturday, December 10, 2016

Robots, Immigrants. And No Citizens

AFL-CIO  President Richard Trumka says Andrew Puzder, President-elect Trump's choice for Secretary of Labor, is “a man whose business record is defined by fighting against working people."

As the awful cliche would have it: "what was your first clue," Mr. Trumka?  The New York Times reports

.... he has argued that the Obama administration’s recent rule expanding eligibility for overtime pay diminishes opportunities for workers, and that significant minimum wage increases would hurt small businesses and lead to job losses.

He has criticized paid sick leave policies of the sort recently enacted for federal contractors and strongly supports repealing the Affordable Care Act, which he says has created a “government-mandated restaurant recession” because rising premiums have left people with less money to spend dining out.

Speaking to Business Insider this year, Mr. Puzder said that increased automation could be a welcome development because machines were “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.”

There is one additional, significant indication of animus toward the working man and woman neither Mr. Trumka nor The New York Times will acknowledge.   CNBC found that in a Wall Street Journal op-ed last year

Puzder supported a "path to legal status" that would be "short of citizenship" so long as the undocumented are "willing to accept responsibility for their actions and take their consequences." That path would include passing a background check, paying a fine and learning English, among other measures.

Puzder admitted on another occasion

If we were able to hire people who are currently here illegally, if there were a way to change their status so that they are here legally that would be a big benefit I think to us and to everybody else that has to hire workers in that category

It shouldn't be surprising that a  guy who opposes an increase in the minimum wage and mandatory sick leave policies and prefers robots to human beings would want to hire illegal immigrants with no chance to become citizens.  And of course

At an American Enterprise Institute conference in 2013, the CEO of CKE Restaurants, parent of Hardee's and Carl's Jr., riffed on the virtues of low-skilled immigrants and backed immigration reform.

"Our Hardee's restaurant operators in the Midwest and the Southeast often use the labor force in California as an example of what they would like their labor force to be," he said then.

"They're very hardworking, dedicated, creative people that really appreciate the fact they have a job," Puzder said. "Whereas in other parts of the country you often get people that are saying, 'I can't believe I have to work this job,' with the immigration population you always have the, 'Thank God I have this job' kind of attitude. So you end up with a real different feeling."

It is no surprise, either, that Andrew Puzder is particularly proud of his marketing approach, including Mexican guy and (white) American guy salivating over sexy, bikini-clad women playing volleyball in the desert at the Mexican/USA border. Profit is king and if women or immigrants can be exploited along the way, all the better. In the Wall Street Journal, he had written "every option should be on the talbe, except amnesty, which firgives illegal conduct. It isn't amnesty if immigrants admit wrongdoing and accept punishment."  And, apparently, substandard wages with no right to vote or opportunity to become citizens.

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