Close this search box.
Close this search box.

Union Leader Welcomes Trump’s New Pick for Labor Secretary

The president has opted for the safer route in nominating Alexander Acosta, a seasoned public servant who has already passed three Senate confirmation hearings.

GettyImages-637529014-compressorFollowing Donald Trump’s wild and wide-ranging 77-minute press conference yesterday, its initial purpose may have gotten lost in all the excitement: he had just nominated a new Labor Secretary.

If Alexander Acosta’s confirmation hearing goes smoothly, as is widely expected, Trump’s new pick will wield great influence over how CEOs manage their day-to-day business. From the outset, it’s unclear what the Florida International University law school dean’s approach will be on key issues, such as the minimum wage and overtime rates. But it was always going to be hard to find a more pro-business candidate than Andy Puzder.

Acosta, who was one of four alternative candidates suggested yesterday by the White House, is a former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida. He also was a member of the National Labor Relations Board and was once appointed as an assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s civil rights division by President George W. Bush.

“In one day, we’ve gone from a fast-food CEO who routinely violates labor law to a public servant with experience enforcing it.

His nomination by Trump was welcomed by the AFL-CIO, the biggest federation of unions in the U.S.

“Working people changed the game on this nomination,” its president, Richard Trumka, said in a statement. “In one day, we’ve gone from a fast-food CEO who routinely violates labor law to a public servant with experience enforcing it.”

To be sure, Trumka said the union will thoroughly review Acosta’s record in the lead-up to his confirmation.

The Miami local is generally perceived as a relatively safe choice for Trump, left reeling by a few high-profile ejections from his inner circle. During yesterday’s press conference, he made sure to mention that Acosta had successfully made it through three previous Senate confirmation hearings. He also would be the first Hispanic person in the president’s Cabinet.

“Alex is going to be a key part of achieving our goal of revitalizing the American economy, manufacturing and labor force,” Trump said.

Acosta has been attacked by progressives for supporting “vote caging” during the 2004 presidential elections, a process where private citizens could challenge the eligibility of other voters at polling places, many of them African-American.

Trump sent mixed messages about the minimum wage on the campaign trail. On several occasions, he said the current federal level of $7.25 was too low, but on others he warned raising it could harm America’s international competitiveness.

Puzder, the CKE Restaurants CEO, decided to pull out of contention amid revelations that he had employed an undocumented immigrant housekeeper. The recent resurfacing of an old Oprah Winfrey tape raising allegations by his ex-wife of domestic abuse, which were later withdrawn, also unsettled some Republican senators.


  • Get the CEO Briefing

    Sign up today to get weekly access to the latest issues affecting CEOs in every industry
  • upcoming events


    Strategic Planning Workshop

    1:00 - 5:00 pm

    Over 70% of Executives Surveyed Agree: Many Strategic Planning Efforts Lack Systematic Approach Tips for Enhancing Your Strategic Planning Process

    Executives expressed frustration with their current strategic planning process. Issues include:

    1. Lack of systematic approach (70%)
    2. Laundry lists without prioritization (68%)
    3. Decisions based on personalities rather than facts and information (65%)


    Steve Rutan and Denise Harrison have put together an afternoon workshop that will provide the tools you need to address these concerns.  They have worked with hundreds of executives to develop a systematic approach that will enable your team to make better decisions during strategic planning.  Steve and Denise will walk you through exercises for prioritizing your lists and steps that will reset and reinvigorate your process.  This will be a hands-on workshop that will enable you to think about your business as you use the tools that are being presented.  If you are ready for a Strategic Planning tune-up, select this workshop in your registration form.  The additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

    New York, NY: ​​​Chief Executive's Corporate Citizenship Awards 2017

    Women in Leadership Seminar and Peer Discussion

    2:00 - 5:00 pm

    Female leaders face the same issues all leaders do, but they often face additional challenges too. In this peer session, we will facilitate a discussion of best practices and how to overcome common barriers to help women leaders be more effective within and outside their organizations. 

    Limited space available.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $495 will be added to your total.

    Golf Outing

    10:30 - 5:00 pm
    General’s Retreat at Hermitage Golf Course
    Sponsored by UBS

    General’s Retreat, built in 1986 with architect Gary Roger Baird, has been voted the “Best Golf Course in Nashville” and is a “must play” when visiting the Nashville, Tennessee area. With the beautiful setting along the Cumberland River, golfers of all capabilities will thoroughly enjoy the golf, scenery and hospitality.

    The golf outing fee includes transportation to and from the hotel, greens/cart fees, use of practice facilities, and boxed lunch. The bus will leave the hotel at 10:30 am for a noon shotgun start and return to the hotel after the cocktail reception following the completion of the round.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $295 will be added to your total.