Tuesday, February 24, 2009

We Have A New Labor Secretary

By a vote of 80-17, Hilda Solis was confirmed as the next Labor Secretary of the United States. Thanks to everyone who signed petitions, emailed, faxed, called and rowsed a rabble on behalf of the California Congresswoman's candidacy. Working people and their families will have a true champion in President Obama's inner-circle.

Here is a sampling of reactions:

Service Employees International Union
As SEIU President Andy Stern stated in his previous endorsements of Solis, she is the embodiment of the American Dream. "As the daughter of two immigrant workers and union members who met in a citizenship class, today's vote to confirm Hilda Solis as Secretary of Labor proves the American Dream is still alive. Working men and women now have a Department of Labor they can count on to stand up and fight for them because Secretary Solis personally understands the challenges workers face in a global economy. For Secretary Solis this is not just another job, but the culmination of a lifetime of action serving as a voice for people who work," said Stern following today's bipartisan vote by the U.S. Senate to confirm Hilda Solis as the next Secretary of Labor.
Congressional Hispanic Caucus
“As a Member of Congress, Hilda Solis has been an advocate in labor and environmental issues, and a trailblazer in healthcare and women’s issues. Her confirmation as our nation’s 25th Secretary of Labor is a moment of pride for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and Latinos across the country,” said Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez, Chair of the CHC. “The influence of the Latino community continues to grow, and today, Hilda Solis helps pave the way for generations of Latinos to come.”
National Council of La Raza
“Nearly one in ten Latinos is unemployed, and last month alone almost 300,000 Hispanics lost their jobs. The economic stimulus package approved by Congress is a bold step toward putting the nation on the road to economic recovery—but the true test will come when this legislation is implemented at the community level,” continued [NCLR President Janet] Murguía. “Hilda Solis has been at the forefront of finding innovative ways to expand job opportunities and knows what it takes to ensure that all Americans have the opportunity to obtain safe jobs with decent wages and benefits. Having a Labor Secretary who is a strong and tireless advocate for workers will be an asset both to the Obama administration and to the nation,” concluded Murguía.
United Farm Workers
Secretary Solis worked in collaboration with the United Farm Workers for years to bring basic protections and dignity to one of the most vulnerable segments of our society. As a life-long supporter of union representation and as an advocate of worker's rights, we are confident Ms. Solis will help restore what was the initial mission of the Labor Department. We know we can trust her. Now we can start working on rebuilding this great nation."
League of United Latin American Citizens
“We are elated that Hilda Solis will serve as the next Secretary of Labor,” said LULAC National President Rosa Rosales. “At a time when hundreds of thousands more workers each week file initial jobless claims, a 26-year high this comes at the right time. For Latino workers facing an unemployment rate of 9.2 percent and small businesses struggling to make payroll, confirmation of Hilda Solis as Labor Secretary cannot come soon enough.”

Congresswoman Hilda Solis speaks for the voiceless in our society. Working men and women need her leading the Department of Labor at this critical time. The confirmation of Hilda Solis as the Secretary of Labor is critical to American workers -- especially now when there is so much economic turmoil. If ever there was a time for a fully functioning Department of Labor, now is it. We trusted the full Senate would do the right thing for the American people.
America's Voice
Secretary Solis (doesn't that sound good?) understands how our dysfunctional immigration system leads to worker exploitation. When millions of undocumented workers are without the protection of the law, it encourages unscrupulous employers to undercut the wages and working conditions of all workers. These bad actor employers also undercut honest competitors who do play fair. Strong labor law enforcement combined with immigration reform that brings undocumented workers out of the shadows will restore integrity to both the labor market and the immigration system.

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