Interfaith Worker Justice Executive Director Laura Barrett on Donald Trump’s pick to lead Department of Labor

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Contact: Ian Pajer-Rogers ipajer-rogers-at-iwj-dot-org

CHICAGO - (December 8, 2016) “As advocates for worker justice focused on ending wage theft and improving pay, benefits, and safety for all working people, we have serious concerns about the president-elect’s nomination of Andrew Puzder to lead the Department of Labor.

“Mr. Puzder is the chief executive of a restaurant empire that thrives under a business model based on low wages and the abuse of overtime protections. Mr. Puzder’s restaurants have been accused of wage theft on numerous occasions.

“Over the past year, IWJ affiliated worker centers and faith-labor groups across the country have put in significant time and energy to establish working relationships with regional community outreach specialists in the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division.

“These contacts offer our affiliates a direct channel to the Department of Labor to report violations and request enforcement of the nation’s labor laws. This has led to the recovery of tens of thousands of dollars in stolen wages and sent a clear signal to employers that wage violations will be met with the full force of the law.

“While we have strong ideological disagreements with Mr. Puzder, we are committed to finding common ground and continuing a productive and professional relationship with the Department of Labor, the Wage and Hour Division, and their regional community outreach specialists to continue advocating for justice for working people everywhere.”

Interfaith Worker Justice is a national network of more than 60 worker centers and faith-labor organizations committed to dignity and justice for all working people.