The appointment of the Labor Secretary nominee Andrew Puzder will be devastating to working people’s health. Colleagues of mine at the NYC health department have reported, in a study published in the American Journal of Public Health in June 2016, that “A $15 minimum wage could have averted 2800 to 5500 premature deaths between 2008 and 2012 in New York City, representing 4 percent to 8 percent of total premature deaths in that period. Most of these avertable deaths would be realized in lower-income communities, in which residents are predominantly people of color.”
Yet, nominee Pudzer opposes raising the minimum wage. A strong minimum wage would lift millions out of poverty and prevent many thousands of premature deaths, yet this millionaire cares more about his bottom dollar.
Has Mr. Puzder ever had to decide between paying the rent or putting food on the table while living on a minimum wage? Maybe he should live that life before he tells us wages won’t go up.
I hope our elected officials understand what’s at stake. We cannot afford a Secretary of Labor who sees fair pay as a threat.
Jamaica Plain resident