Trump to Name Fast-Food CEO as Labor Secretary

By TIM RYAN

WASHINGTON (CN) – President-elect Donald Trump will name fast-food CEO and minimum wage-hike opponent Andy Puzder to lead the Department of Labor, Bloomberg reported Thursday.

Puzder is the CEO of the company that owns burger chains Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s and has been a vocal critic of efforts to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, though he has said states should be free to choose for themselves.

“States have every right to decide what the minimum wage should be,” Puzder said on Fox News in November. “I’ve been opposed to the minimum wage increases that kill jobs and a lot of these state increases are to that level that they would kill jobs. I think that’s bad for American workers. But working in the cabinet, working in the federal government, there’s really nothing you could do to stop states from raising minimum wages.”

Puzder is generally an opponent of government regulation of business, which he says makes it hard for companies to operate in the United States.

“Under the current U.S. business climate, regulatory and tax restrictions tend to curb otherwise dynamic entrepreneurial energy,” Puzder told CNBC in 2013. “We’d love to see more growth in domestic markets. Unfortunately, it’s easier for our franchisees to open a restaurant in Siberia than in California.”

Fitting with a growing Trump administration theme, Puzder has also opposed the Affordable Care Act.

Puzder told Business Insider in March he would be interested in experimenting with an entirely automated restaurant

“I want to try it,” Puzder said in the interview. “We could have a restaurant that’s focused on all-natural products and is much like an Eatsa, where you order on a kiosk, you pay with a credit or debit card, your order pops up and you never see a person.”

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