The Competitive Enterprise Institute
January 17, 2017
For the past eight years, labor unions have greatly benefitted from federal labor agencies regulatory onslaught and overwhelming union bias. The Department of Labor and National Labor Relations Board have imposed billions in regulatory costs on employers and greatly eased union organizing efforts.
In addition to labor unions, union front groups like the Restaurant Opportunities Center United and the Fight for $15 have gotten a boost from an administration friendly to Big Labor.
So it comes as no surprise that these organizations are pulling out all the stops to derail the nomination of Andrew Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants, to head the Department of Labor.
Why is Puzder drawing the ire of labor unions and their allies? He does not believe that government knows best how to spur economic growth and job creation (check out Puzder’s personal blog for his thoughts on overregulation and its impact on job creation). As such, he is an anathema to Big Labor.
In protest of the labor secretary nominee who believes in scaling back burdensome red tape on the private-sector, the Fight for $15, an organization heavily subsidized by SEIU and other unions, is conducting demonstrations around the country against Puzder.
However, these protests have gotten off to a rocky start. In a video produced by America Rising Squared, a conservative nonprofit research organization, the “demonstrators,” who are likely paid protestors that are commonly hired by unions, didn’t even know who Andrew Puzder was and, therefore, were probably not sure what they were protesting.
Not to be outdone by the Fight for $15’s protest, the Restaurant Opportunities Center recently released a methodically unsound “survey” of Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. employees (Puzder’s company owns Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr.).
The problem with the survey is that the Center searched for CKE employees via social media. As Robert Santos, chief methodologist at the Urban Institute, told FiveThirtyEight.com:
…there is no way to effectively determine if respondents are even human beings, let alone actual employees of CKE Restaurants. And even if the employees are real, they are a self-selected group — it is possible and even likely that workers who have experienced problems were more likely to respond to the survey.
However, a statistically sound survey produced by the Employment Policies Institute shows that “[O]ver 90% of employees agreed that they felt ‘safe and respected’ in their work environment, including 93% of female employees, and 92% agreed that Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s are great places to work.”
Ultimately, the questionable tactics pursued by the Restaurant Opportunities Center and Fight for $15 to smear Puzder show more about them than him. Labor unions and the like should get used to proving their merit to workers rather than relying on intimidation and coercive tactics.