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Economy

Ohio Unions Were Among Those Whose Opposition Forced Out Trump's Labor Nominee

Ohio AFL-CIO members protests Secretary of Labor nominee
Karen Kasler
/
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU
Ohio AFL-CIO members protests the Secretary of Labor nominee Andrew Pudzer with signs.

A group representing 650,000 union members in Ohio opposed the nomination of Cleveland-native Andrew Pudzer as President Trump’s secretary of labor. Puzder withdrew his name from consideration this afternoon, but a progressive think tank says whoever heads that agency is critical to working Ohioans.

What happens at the U.S. Labor Department is very important when it comes to Ohio," says Hannah Halbert with the liberal leaning Policy Matters Ohio.

“The state’s wage-and-hour enforcement division has six investigators covering the entire state of Ohio. And we’re one of the most poorly staffed divisions in the nation.”
 
The Ohio AFL-CIO was opposed to the nomination of Puzder, the CEO of Carl’s Jr. and Hardees fast-food restaurants. Questions about personal and professional issues -- including labor violations at his restaurants, opposition to minimum wage and allegations of domestic abuse -- kept Puzder from having enough votes in the Senate for confirmation, and he withdrew.
 
Exit polls show many Ohio union members voted for Donald Trump in part because of his promise to renegotiate trade deals. But most union leadership supported Hillary Clinton, and they say workers remain concerned about minimum-wage and workplace rights issues.