President-elect Donald Trump has chosen anti-regulation fast-food executive Andrew Puzder, opposed to a higher minimum wage, to lead the US Department of Labor.
Donald Trump said Andrew Puzder, the latest tycoon added to his cabinet, had a “record fighting for workers”.
Andrew Puzder is the chief executive of CKE Restaurants, which operates the Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s.
He has often argued a higher minimum wage would kill jobs.
The Labor Department regulates wages along with workplace safety.
Andrew Puzder has criticized a new Labor Department rule aimed at extending overtime pay to more than four million US workers.
He has also dismissed a nationwide campaign by fast-food workers for a $15 minimum wage, more than double the current federal level.
Donald Trump, in a statement released by his transition team, said Andrew Puzder would make workers “safer and more prosperous”.
“He will save small businesses from the crushing burdens of unnecessary regulations that are stunting job growth and suppressing wages,” the president-elect said.
In the same statement, Andrew Puzder said “the right government policies can result in more jobs and better wages for the American worker”.
Democrats and their allies have been critical of the Californian’s appointment.
Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO union, said Andrew Puzder’s “business record is defined by fighting against working people”.
Andrew Puzder was one of Donald Trump’s earliest campaign financiers, contributing more than $330,000 to his White House bid, reports the Washington Post.
He opposes the Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare, claiming it has left working families with less money to spend dining out, spawning a “restaurant recession”.
Andrew Puzder has brushed off allegations that his fast-food restaurants’ racy commercials – featuring scantily clad models gorging on burgers – are sexist.
“I like beautiful women eating burgers in bikinis,” he once said.
“I think it’s very American.”
Donald Trump’s latest cabinet appointment came amid his Twitter spat with the head of a local United Steelworkers union in Indiana.