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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Hilda Solis Confirmed as US Secretary of Labor

News outlets are reporting that the Senate has confirmed California Representative Hilda L. Solis to be the Obama administration's Secretary of Labor, after several weeks of delays by Republican Senators. The fight over Rep. Solis's nomination foreshadows the larger fight that is expected over the Employee Free Choice Act, legislation that would make joining a union easier.

The Department of Labor defines its mission as follows:
The Department of Labor fosters and promotes the welfare of the job seekers, wage earners, and retirees of the United States by improving their working conditions, advancing their opportunities for profitable employment, protecting their retirement and health care benefits, helping employers find workers, strengthening free collective bargaining, and tracking changes in employment, prices, and other national economic measurements. In carrying out this mission, the Department administers a variety of Federal labor laws including those that guarantee workers’ rights to safe and healthful working conditions; a minimum hourly wage and overtime pay; freedom from employment discrimination; unemployment insurance; and other income support.

After eight years of an administration that was hostile to this mission, I look forward to changes that the new Secretary of Labor undoubtedly will bring to office.

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