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MO Low-Wage Workers Protest Trump's Pick for Labor Secretary

Low-wage workers say Donald Trump's selection for U.S. Labor Secretary makes more in a day than they do all year. (standupkc.org)
Low-wage workers say Donald Trump's selection for U.S. Labor Secretary makes more in a day than they do all year. (standupkc.org)
January 13, 2017

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Low-wage workers in Kansas City and across the country are staging protests in opposition to President-elect Donald Trump's selection of Andy Puzder for U.S. Secretary of Labor.

The group Fight for $15 organized protests Thursday, saying the CEO of CKE Restaurant Holdings, which includes the fast food chains Hardee's and Carl's Jr., is a symbol of the rigged economy Trump has vowed to fix.

Bridget Hughes, part of Fight for $15 movement in Kansas City, is a fast food worker who makes $9 an hour and says even with both she and her husband working, they can't make ends meet for their four children.

"Not being able to afford utilities, having trouble getting even basic needs, like deodorant and food and you know, things that people do on a daily basis, don't even think about,” she states. “We have to really struggle and rub pennies together just to be able to get stuff like that."

The protest in Kansas City was one of two-dozen from coast to coast ahead of Puzder's confirmation hearing next week.

Hughes says housing is a big issue for families like hers, adding that she and her husband recently were denied when they applied for a three-bedroom apartment.

"And even with it being below market value, they denied me due to the fact that my income was $3,000 less per year of the limit that I needed to make in order to get the apartment," she relates.

Fight for $15 says CKE Restaurant Holdings' financial disclosures show Puzder was paid between $4 million and $10 million in recent years, making more in one day than his minimum-wage workers make in one year.

Puzder is an outspoken critic of increasing the minimum wage, which in Missouri is $7.70 an hour.

Veronica Carter, Public News Service - MO