HomeChinese AmericanAAPI Cheer Downfall of Trump's Labor Secretary Nominee

AAPI Cheer Downfall of Trump’s Labor Secretary Nominee

Andrew Puzder
Andrew Puzder

By Ed Diokno
Views from the Edge


President Donald Trump’s pick to become Labor Secretary, Andrew Puzder, withdrew his name from nomination after a videotape of his ex-wife alleging domestic abuse surfaced.

Puzder, the CEO of the Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. fast food chains, who has seen his hearings delayed multiple times because he failed to fill out required financial and ethics forms, could not overcome the extremely damaging tapes by his former wife, Lisa Fierstein.



At least four of the Republican Senators were not going to vote for him, which would have denied him the Cabinet spot.


The Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO (APALA) vehemently opposed the confirmation of Puzder.

“A millionaire whose appalling track record has demonstrated his opposition to overtime pay and increasing the minimum wage and whose companies also have a history of workers’ rights violations, Puzder has no place in leading an agency meant to protect the very workers his companies continue to exploit,” declared Johanna Puno Hester, APALA National President and Assistant Executive Director of the United Domestic Workers, AFSCME Local 3930.


“Not only has Puzder shown that he is unqualified to be Labor Secretary but he also has shown his blatant misogyny and pursuit of an anti-woman agenda,” added Monica Thammarath, APALA 1st Vice President and National Education Association Senior Liaison.


The allegations from Fierstein, Puzder’s wife from 1973 to 1987, apparently were too much for the GOP to ignore. She appeared on Oprah Winfrey’s show in March of 1990 in a segment about “High-Class Battered Women.” On the show, Fierstein, in disguise as “Ann,” describes alleged abuse by Puzder and its impact on her life.


“I wound up losing everything, everything,” Fierstein told Winfrey. “I have nothing. He has a Porsche and a Mercedes-Benz. He has the home. He has everything. He was an attorney and he knew how to play the system.” She also claimed that Puzder told her: “I will see you in the gutter. This will never be over, you will pay for this.”


Since then, Fierstein has regretted her appearance on Winfrey’s show and has retracted her allegations saying Puzder was a fine man and father, but the video of her testimony was too damaging for his chances of winning Senate votes.


“Let Puzder’s withdrawal be an example of how powerful organizing can be,” said Puno. “Puzder was only one nomination in a larger set of Cabinet picks who seriously threaten the lives and freedom of people of color, women, LGBTQ communities, and all other marginalized groups, we call on our members, co-conspirators, and allies to continue to resist, organize, and fight back against this administration that is intentionally targeting and attacking our diverse communities and working families nationwide.”

Asian American lawmakers posted messages expressed a sigh of relief:


Last month, I met several workers who were denied paid leave and were required to serve and prep food when they were sick while they worked for Andrew Puzder’s fast food corporation” Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Illinois, said in a statement. “No one should be forced to choose between taking care of themselves or a sick family member and earning a paycheck they cannot afford to go without. It was a mistake to nominate someone like Mr. Puzder who has spent his career exploiting workers and racking up labor violations. I hope the President chooses someone more qualified to lead the Labor Department.”

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