Carl's Jr. workers in Austin join national protest against Trump nominee
Jan 13 2017 by Larry Hoffman
The protest occurred at the Hardee's restaurant located at 3912 N. Duke St.at noon and was made up primarily of volunteers, restaurant workers and student activists.
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Puzder's confirmation hearing date has yet to be scheduled.
Durham police were called to the scene by nearby restaurants, and the protest was allowed to continue on a sliver of property near Duke Street that the police considered a public area.
"The issue is growing in terms of fast-food workers and the minimum wage", said Jimmy Thomas, a rally participant who does home fix. Intermittently the group would be greeted by the honk of a auto horn from Duke Street.
The four-year-old "Fight for $15" movement has helped win minimum wage hikes in California and NY.
Numerous participants in the group were present at a much larger demonstration that happened in Durham in November.
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An hour after the Carl's Jr. protest, the Texas AFL-CIO spoke across town on their efforts to raise the minimum wage in Texas. This is a bad choice for working people.
"Andy Puzder has firsthand experience creating jobs and boosting the careers of thousands of Americans, and his extensive record of fighting for workers makes him the ideal candidate to lead the Department of Labor", Johnson said.
Fight for $15 points out that Puzder's $4.4 million annual salary means he "means he makes more in one day than he pays his minimum wage workers in one year". Rather than advancing opportunities for wage earners, he wants to replace them with robots who, he says, "never take a vacation, they never show up late, there's never a slip-and-fall, or an age, sex, or race discrimination case". Though their sample is unscientific, the responses of the more than 500 employees who returned their survey showed a high rate of sexual harassment from customers, being forced to work off the clock, not receiving required breaks and not getting overtime pay.
Many female workers, according to the research conducted by Restaurant Opportunities Center (Roc) United, have been harassed by customers referencing the highly sexualised advertising campaigns Puzder has championed as CEO of CKE Restaurants, the parent company of chains including Carl's Jr and Hardee's. "He should know that we can't survive off of [$7.25 per hour], and he is only looking out for himself".
The Kansas City rally was one of about two dozen planned by Fight for $15 organizers in cities around the country. She said going from her current $9.95 an hour as a shift manager at Burger King to a $15 minimum wage would increase the quality of life she can provide for her three children.
"I continually get notes left on tables from customers, customers flirt or ask me out", said another Carl's Jr employee in California. "We're in this by proxy, so we may as well engage and think about where the ball is going to bounce, rather than just sit back and take it".
The organization also is asking members to send individual letters to senators in support of Puzder through its Franchise Action Network.