SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The CEO of a Carpinteria-based corporation is President-elect Donald Trump's pick for Labor Secretary.
66-year-old Andrew Puzder has been the head honcho for CKE Restaurants, representing Carl's Jr., Hardee's and other chains, for 16 years.
Puzder was not available for an on-camera interview, but CKE Restaurants issued the following statement:
"CKE Restaurants Holdings, Inc., congratulates CEO Andy Puzder for his nomination to serve our nation as Secretary of Labor. Mr. Puzder would provide excellent leadership for nation's business community and all Americans who work hard each and every day to make a better life for themselves and their families."
We reached out a business expert who says he couldn't have imagined a better choice.
"I think it's a perfect choice. I can't imagine a better choice. Somebody who understands that you can't have labor without capital," said Joe Armendaris, Santa Barbara Technology and Industry Association.
Puzder has been a critical of government regulation. He's against raising the minimum wage to $15, broader overtime pay and the Affordable Care Act.
"Anytime the government in a sort of arbitrary way raises the cost of labor that results in more unemployment or less employment," said Armendaris.
However, not everyone is celebrating his nomination. United Farm Workers of America released the following statement:
"Hard to imagine a worse choice for Labor Secretary than Andy Puzder, whose job it is to look out for American workers. Trump's labor nominee opposed increasing the minimum wage and has run a business model with widespread labor abuses. He opposed increasing the minimum wage in California, Arizona, and other successful efforts to increase working people's wages across the country this year and in previous years. Puzder has also run a business model that has produced widespread labor abuses at the companies -- according to a recent study over half of all Labor Department investigations of Carl's Jr. restaurants found violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, according to data compiled by Bloomberg BNA.”