Julie A. Su, candidate for deputy secretary of Labor, affirms throughout her Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee verification hearing in Dirksen Building on Tuesday, March 16, 2021.
Tom Williams|CQ-Roll Call, Inc.|Getty Images
President Joe Biden is nominating Julie Su, the existing deputy and previous California authorities, as his next labor secretary, changing the leaving incumbent, previous Boston Mayor Marty Walsh.
Su, a civil liberties lawyer and previous head of California’s labor department, was main to settlements in between labor and freight rail business late in 2015, working to prevent a financially devastating strike. She likewise has actually worked to widen staff member training programs and punish wage theft. If verified by the Senate, Su would likewise be the very first Asian American in the Biden administration to serve in the Cabinet at the secretary level.
Biden, in a declaration on Tuesday, called her a “champion for workers.”
“Julie is a tested and experienced leader, who will continue to build a stronger, more resilient, and more inclusive economy that provides Americans a fair return for their work and an equal chance to get ahead,” he stated. “She helped avert a national rail shutdown, improved access to good jobs free from discrimination through my Good Jobs Initiative, and is ensuring that the jobs we create in critical sectors like semiconductor manufacturing, broadband and healthcare are good-paying, stable and accessible jobs for all.”
Su was thought about to lead the department when Biden won the White House however rather ended up being the department’s deputy. Walsh revealed his objective to leave the administration previously this month to lead the National Hockey League Players’Association Su will act as the acting secretary till the Senate acts upon her election.
Biden had actually been under pressure from the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus and other Asian American and Pacific Islander promotes to pick Su to head the department. This administration was the very first in more than 20 years to not have a Cabinet secretary of AAPI descent, regardless of its routine statements that it was the most varied in history. Vice President Kamala Harris and U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai are of AAPI descent however do not lead a Cabinet department.
Su, if verified, would likewise broaden most of females serving in the president’sCabinet She was verified by the Senate to her existing function in 2021 by a 50–47 vote.
Su’s election drew speedy assistance from Democrats on Capitol Hill, with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer stating she would be “phenomenal” in the task.
“The president couldn’t have picked a better nominee,” he informed press reporters. “I’m really excited about her, and we’re going to move to consider her nomination very, very quickly.”
Sen Bernie Sanders, I-Vt, who will command Su’s verification hearing as chair of the Senate health, education, labor and pensions committee, applauded the choice. Sanders had actually advised factor to consider of Sara Nelson, the president of the flight attendants union, however explained Su had his strong assistance.
“I’m confident Julie Su will be an excellent Secretary of Labor,” he tweeted. “I look forward to working with her to protect workers’ rights and build the trade union movement in this country.”
But LouisianaSen Bill Cassidy, the top Republican on the Senate health, education and labor committee who opposed Su when she was chosen for deputy secretary, called her work managing the department “troubling” and “anti-worker.”
The committee need to “have a full and thorough hearing process,” Cassidy stated.
Rep Judy Chu, D-Calif, who chairs the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, stated she was “overjoyed” by the choice, thanking Biden in a tweet for “nominating your first AAPI Cabinet Secretary!”
“It certainly is better late than never,” Chu stated in a quick interview, mentioning CAPAC assistance for Su 2 years ago for the top Labor post and applauding Su’s qualifications as a leader and enforcer of labor laws consisting of base pay and occupational security requirements. She stated GOP criticism about Su had actually been completely vetted 2 years back which the coming verification procedure will reveal their charges “have no basis.”
Chu kept in mind that Biden had actually stated he would call a Cabinet that appeared like America, and “he fulfilled that promise.”
Su’s election likewise comes at a crucial minute for labor unions, which have actually been dealing with a decrease in subscription for years. Unions acquired some momentum as employees at significant companies such as Amazon and Starbucks pressed to unionize. But Biden– an avowed pro-union president– needed to deal with Congress to enforce an agreement on rail employees in 2015 to prevent a possible strike.
The Labor Department stated simply 10.1% of employees in 2015 were union members. That figure has actually been cut almost in half given that 1983 and might fall even more, as more youthful employees are less most likely to come from unions.
“There’s no one more dedicated and qualified to defend the fundamental rights of working people than Julie Su,” stated AFL-CIO President LizShuler “It’s her life’s work.”