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On today’s rundown, all eyes on the G.O.P. tax plan - labor groups say it’s not good for working families, and the view from Michigan is the likely loss of many services across the state; plus, report today on Black Friday and Native American Heritage Day

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Boston Workers "At Bottom of Food Chain" Protest Trump Labor Nominee

Calling him the "worst of the worst," low-wage workers in Boston joined a nationwide action aimed at derailing the nomination of Andy Pudzer as the next U.S. labor secretary. (32BJ SEIU)
Calling him the "worst of the worst," low-wage workers in Boston joined a nationwide action aimed at derailing the nomination of Andy Pudzer as the next U.S. labor secretary. (32BJ SEIU)
January 27, 2017

BOSTON - Boston workers who describe themselves "at the bottom of the food chain" are taking part in nationwide actions to protest President Trump's labor secretary nominee. Thursday's actions across the nation are aimed at blocking the confirmation of fast-food chief executive Andy Puzder.

Among those taking part in Boston's protest at the U.S. Department of Labor office at Government Center was Paris Wilson, who said he's raising a son on the $11 an hour he makes at a local fast-food restaurant. Wilson said the Carl's Jr. and Hardee's CEO is the wrong person to lead the Labor Department.

"He's just not for the poor," Wilson said. "He's not for his own workers - his own workers have filed complaints against his companies for sexual harassment and discrimination - and it's like he doesn't really care."

Trump said Pudzer will save small businesses from the crushing burdens of unnecessary regulations that he believes stunt job growth and suppress wages. Boston workers have been in a long "Fight for 15" struggle to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Pudzer has been a sharp critic of the minimum wage.

With just a week before Pudzer's confirmation hearing, "Fight for 15" workers announced that 33 complaints have been filed against Carl's Jr. and Hardee's with state and federal agencies, with allegations that include wage theft and sexual harassment. To Wilson, it's another sign the nominee is not interested the plight of low-wage workers.

"I'm out here taking a stand for me, my son, and all the other Americans out here struggling," he said. "We're out here struggling bad. We're at the end of the food chain, and they're at the top of the food chain, and nobody's really giving us a chance or trying to help us better ourselves. So, that's what I'm taking a stand against - people who are against the poor."

According to The Center for Investigative Reporting, Puzder spent $10,000 in 2006 to fight a Nevada ballot initiative that would have raised the state minimum wage by $1, from $5.15 to $6.15 an hour.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - MA