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The Government Workers’ Revolt



It’s not only State Department workers revolting against Herr Trump. Labor Department workers are doing the same.

You can now add the Labor Department to the growing list of US government agencies where workers are speaking out against their new leadership.

Politico’s “Morning Shift” newsletter reports today that “current and former” Labor Department employees are circulating and adding their names to an open letter asking the Senate not to confirm Andrew Puzder as Labor Secretary. (It’s unclear how many signatures the letter has at this point.) Puzder, you may recall, is coming directly from a position as the CEO of Hardees and Carl’s Jr., where he became famous for speaking out against wage increases and hailing the coming of automation that would reduce his own human work force. Now, the very people he would supervise if he gets confirmed are speaking out against his business practices, his treatment of his own employees, and even his personal conduct.

Puzder is a truly reprehensible human being, whose nomination may legitimately be in doubt given how slow he has gone in preparing even basic records to pass on to Congress and his reputed dissatisfaction with having to go through a confirmation procedure. But if he is confirmed, I’m sure he and the rest of this New Gilded Age crew will seek to sweep out the Labor Department and replace these people with cronies and hacks. Of course, the people signing the letter see the writing on the wall and evidently are going to go out with principles instead of meekly. And this kind of internal pushback is great and a critical part of the larger protest over the rise of fascism.

That’s an open act of insubordination that will likely get all these people fired, as the Trump administration joins the rest of the Republican Party in legalizing corruption and turning the Pendleton Civil Service Act moot.

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