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PNS Daily Newscast - December 15, 2017 


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Protests to Greet Former Labor Sec. Nominee and Union-Busting Org. in Ore.

Andy Puzder withdrew from his nomination as labor secretary after his ex-wife made allegations of domestic violence public. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Andy Puzder withdrew from his nomination as labor secretary after his ex-wife made allegations of domestic violence public. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
September 28, 2017

PORTLAND, Ore. – Protesters will greet President Donald Trump's former labor secretary nominee Andy Puzder Thursday as he attends a fundraiser for a group determined to break up unions in the Northwest.

The Freedom Foundation, a libertarian think tank, is holding its meeting at the Portland Airport Sheraton Hotel.

Peter Starzynski is head of the Northwest Accountability Project, which is leading the protest. He says Puzder's record on workers' rights as former head of CKE Restaurants, which owns Carl's Jr. and Hardee's, is poor and complaints this year from employees of those restaurants bear that out.

"There have been 22 complaints of wage theft with the U.S. Department of Labor and four sexual harassment claims,” he points out. “So, this is who the Freedom Foundation is palling around with, this is who the Freedom Foundation brought in to keynote their annual fundraiser, and I think it says a lot about who the Freedom Foundation is."

CKE Restaurants denies these allegations. Puzder stepped down as a nominee for labor secretary after allegations of domestic abuse from his ex-wife were made public.

In Oregon and Washington state, the Freedom Foundation has urged union members not to pay dues. In the past, it has obtained personal information on members in order to solicit them not to pay.

The protest and meeting begin at 5 p.m.

Starzynski says the Freedom Foundation's claims that it is succeeding in busting Northwest unions isn't true. He says the protest Thursday will show the support unions have in Oregon.

"The purpose of the Freedom Foundation is to create division,” he asserts. I think what the protest will do is it will unite everybody in this effort to fight against these well-funded attacks from the Koch brothers."

The Northwest Accountability Project also is urging Sheraton to cancel its agreement with the Freedom Foundation to host the event, as well as another event at the Westin in Bellevue, Wash..


Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - OR