News & Commentary

December 11, 2016

Maia Usui

Maia Usui is a student at Harvard Law School.

Trump’s Labor Secretary pick — Andy Puzder, a fast-food CEO opposed to raising the minimum wage — is still drawing criticism.  Politicians have chimed in; Senator Elizabeth Warren has called the appointment “a slap in the face for every hardworking American family.”  The Atlantic takes a closer look at the controversial choice.

One puzzling aspect of Trump’s pick, as noted in our previous coverage, is that Puzder has disagreed with the President-elect on immigration issues.  Puzder has argued for bringing in more low-wage immigrant workers, and in a Wall Street Journal editorial he penned earlier this year, Puzder claimed that “deporting 11 million people is unworkable.”  While some have viewed the Puzder pick as a hopeful sign of a more balanced immigration policy under the Trump administration, Puzder seems to have already changed his tune on immigration; in a statement released Saturday, he threw his support behind Trump’s immigration plan, claiming that it “will boost wages and ensure that open jobs are offered to American workers first.”

Meanwhile, unions are feeling nervous in the wake of Trump’s bitter Twitter war with Chuck Jones, leader of the union representing Carrier workers, earlier this week.  According to The Wall Street Journal, Trump’s Carrier intervention — and the resulting conflict — has union leaders worried that the new President will intervene more and more in the work of organized labor.

And finally, as the holiday season approaches, Amazon is ramping up to deliver gifts across the world.  But at what cost?  A reporter from The Times went undercover in Amazon’s biggest warehouse in the U.K.; she reports backbreaking working conditions with low pay, and under “Orwellian surveillance.”


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