- President-elect Donald Trump hasn’t announced his labor secretary, but three contenders are rumored to top the list, The Atlantic reports. All three have different backgrounds, but each one has had some administrative experience from a pro-business perspective. Victoria Lipnic, a lawyer, is one possible frontrunner for Trump’s labor secretary. She was assistant labor secretary under Pres. George W. Bush and Pres. Barack Obama’s pick as one of two Republican commissioners on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
- Viewed as a Washington outsider, Andrew Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants and owner of fast-food chains Carl’s Jr. and Hardees, is another possible Trump pick for labor secretary. Puzder raised funds for Trump and advised him during his presidential campaign. Puzder opposes the Affordable Care Act and raising the federal minimum wage.
- Scott Walker, Wisconsin’s governor, squeaked out a win in his battle to suppress unions. He made Wisconsin a right-to-work state, which allows employees to opt out of unions and have union representation without paying dues. Walker recently announced a desire to oversee the Republican Governors Association to elect more GOP governors nationwide. The move could take him off the list of labor secretary candidates.
The three top contenders for labor secretary clearly have pro-business agendas. Critics say that their stands go so far as to favor businesses over employees. However, each can expect some push back from the more progressive wing of the Democratic Party, which still has labor unions’ backing.
Regardless of Trump’s pick for labor secretary, he and his cabinet members are likely to roll back or place restrictions on pro-labor initiatives like the overtime rule, paid leave measures, federal minimum wage proposals and the fiduciary rule.
Trump also is expected to fill the two vacant seats on the National Labor Relations Board. The Wall Street Journal reports that Trump and the GOP majority in the House and Senate will overturn many of President Obama’s pro-labor stands, which include support for the NLRB’s rejection of class-action waivers and the unionization of contract workers, student groups and fast-food workers.