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National Restaurant Association comes out against Julie Su's nomination for Labor

The trade group says Su has a history of siding against the industry. It singles out her support of California's Fast Act as the prime example.
Julie Su Department of Labor
Wu would succeed Marty Walsh as department secretary. / Photograph: Shutterstock

The National Restaurant Association has come out against President Biden’s nomination of Julie Su as the next secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor, citing her record of supporting measures the industry opposed while Su headed California’s labor department.

At the top of the list is Su’s endorsement at the time of the Fast Act, a law that shifted responsibility for setting most fast-food wages to a panel where 40% of the pay-setting power is held by workers or union representatives. Quick-service franchisees and franchisors say the setup takes away their control of payrolls. The law is on hold until California voters decide in 2024 if they want the measure to be enforced.

“Ms. Su’s support of California’s Fast Act and other regulatory mandates unfairly target restaurant operators and set dangerous precedents for restaurants everywhere,” the association said in a prepared announcement.

“After lengthy consideration and discussion with restaurant owners across the country, we are opposed to Julie Su’s nomination as Secretary of Labor,” it stated.

The association joins a parade of business groups that have voiced opposition to Su’s selection. They say she would bring a strongly pro-labor bias to the job.

They also blast Su’s administrative abilities, noting how California’s emergency unemployment assistance often ended up in the wrong hands early in the pandemic.

Su has been nominated to succeed Marty Walsh, who is leaving government services to lead the National Hockey League’s Players Association.

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