Friday, December 19, 2008

UPDATE: Proposed new Secretary of Labor, Hilda Solis…

I have added a statement by Kim Bobo from Interfaith Worker Justice below...

Well, so far, everything I am hearing about Congresswoman Hilda Solis, Obama’s pick for Secretary of Labor, is positive. I have never heard of her before, but my wife who works for NALACC (the National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities) has talked with members in California who know her well. They describe her as a strong advocate of immigrant workers. The AFL-CIO gave her a 97% pro labor voting record. Roberto Lovato on the Of America blog, in an article called…“Secretary of Labor Designate Hilda Solis: One to Celebrate” called it Obama’s “first progressive appointment.” Apparently Solis father was a union member (Teamsters) and her mother an assembly line worker. I just hope she’s not a relation of our pro-gentrification alderman Danny Solis (just joking). Below are the statements released today by the AFL-CIO and Change To Win. PLEASE ADD YOUR OWN COMMENTS WITH ANY ADDITIONAL INFO YOU MAY HAVE…

AFL-CIO President John Sweeney
On the Selection of Rep. Hilda Solis as Labor Secretary
December 18, 2008

We're thrilled at the prospect of having Rep. Hilda Solis as our nation's next labor secretary. We're confident that she will return to the labor department one of its core missions - - to defend workers' basic rights in our nation's workplaces. She's proven to be a passionate leader and advocate for all working families - - in fact, she's voted with working men and women 97 percent of the time. The AFL-CIO looks forward to working with Rep. Solis as she charts new territory for our nation's working men and women.


WASHINGTON, DC – The following is a statement from Change to Win chair Anna Burger regarding reports that President-Elect Barack Obama will appoint Rep. Hilda Solis of California as the Secretary of Labor.

“Change to Win and its affiliated unions would welcome the appointment of Congresswoman Hilda Solis as Secretary of Labor, and would be excited to work with her to help restore the economy, rebuild the middle class and renew the American Dream. She would make the Labor Department an agency that once again protects and promotes the well-being of America’s working men and women. President-elect Obama promised to make government work for working Americans and the appointment of Hilda Solis would make that promise real.

“Solis has a life-long record as an advocate and activist for the cause and concerns of working Americans. She has fought to provide working families with a safe workplace, a healthy environment, a decent standard of living, affordable health care and equal opportunity. Congresswoman Solis does not just vote on behalf of workers, she is their unwavering and tireless voice. She has one of the strongest pro-worker voting records in Congress and is a sponsor of the Employee Free Choice Act.

“She has never forgotten where she comes from, and how she got to where she is today.

“As she said in support of the Employee Free Choice Act:

When union workers earn higher wages to support their families...It helps to provide a vibrant economy. It helps send their children, like me, a daughter of immigrants and a union household to college and eventually run for office. This is the American dream, and we should help realize that dream by supporting workers. “

Hilda Solis — Great Choice for Labor

Interfaith Worker Justice heartily affirms President-elect Obama’s choice of Congresswoman Hilda Solis for Secretary of Labor.

“She’s just what the nation needs,” said Kim Bobo , IWJ’s Executive Director. “She has fought for green jobs, living wages and immigrant rights.”

Since its founding in 1996, Interfaith Worker Justice and its 20 affiliated workers centers have worked cooperatively with the Department of Labor in creating and distributing educational resources to workers, filing complaints about wage theft, pushing for targeted investigations of industries that exploit workers, and advocating innovative approaches to wage enforcement.

Wage Theft in America: Why Millions of Working Americans Are Not Getting Paid—And What We Can Do About It, Bobo’s just-published book, outlines problems workers face in dealing with the Department of Labor and recommends a new vision for the department’s wage enforcement work…

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