Reuters is reporting that President-elect Donald Trump is expected to name Andy Puzder as the Labor Secretary. Puzder is the CEO of CKE Restaurants Inc, which operates the Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s fast-food chains. You may know Carl’s Jr. best from their provocative ads featuring the most beautiful models on the planet eating a juicy burger.
Much like Trump, Puzder is outspoken, patriotic, and loves beautiful women.
“I like our ads. I like beautiful women eating burgers in bikinis. I think it’s very American,” he told Entrprenuer.com last year. “I used to hear, brands take on the personality of the CEO. And I rarely thought that was true, but I think this one, in this case, it kind of did take on my personality.”
Also like his new boss, Puzder is not afraid of controversy.
“If you don’t complain, I go to the head of marketing and say, ‘What’s wrong with our ads?'” the Carl’s Jr. CEO said. “Those complaints aren’t necessarily bad for us. What you look at is, you look at sales. And, our sales go up.”
Previously, Puzder served as an economic adviser to 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, and was a delegate to the 2012 and 2016 Republican National Conventions. The 66-year-old business mogul is also a vocal critic of government intervention in labor markets.
Puzder is in favor workplace automation, something Amazon was able to do this week with their cashier-less grocery store.
“They’re always polite, they always upsell, they never take a vacation, they never show up late, there’s never a slip-and-fall, or an age, sex, or race discrimination case,” Puzder said of replacing human workers with machines in a Business Insider article last March.
He has also been against raising the minimum wage too much because he believes it takes away jobs.
“People don’t make minimum wage for a very long period of time. If you’re going to stay and you show you have value, then your wage is going to go up. … I don’t think anybody plans to have a workforce of minimum-wage employees. That’s just not the way it works.” He adds, “there’s nothing wrong with rational increases in the minimum wage that don’t kill jobs.”
“I started out scooping ice cream at Baskin-Robbins at a dollar an hour,” he said. “I learned a lot about inventory and customer service … but there’s no way in the world that scooping ice cream is worth $15 an hour, and no one ever intended it would ever be something that a person could support a family on. … Those jobs just don’t produce that kind of value like a construction job or a manufacturing job does.”
“With government driving up the cost of labor, it’s driving down the number of jobs,” he says. “You’re going to see automation not just in airports and grocery stores, but in restaurants.” He did predict the Amazon Go automated grocery store.
Nobody knows if he’ll be a great secretary of labor, but he makes some fantastic burger commercials.