Boston (PAI) — Organized Labor, for the first time in years, will have a unionist at the president’s Cabinet table, as Democratic President-Elect Joe Biden nominated Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, former head of both Laborers’ Local 223 and the Boston Metropolitan District Building Trades Council, as U.S. Labor Secretary.
“Boston Mayor Marty Walsh will be an exceptional Labor Secretary for the same reason he was an outstanding mayor: he carried the tools,” Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO said. “As a longtime union member, Walsh knows that collective bargaining is essential to building back better by combating inequality, beating COVID-19 and expanding opportunities for immigrants, women and people of color. He will have the ear of the White House, the Cabinet and Congress as we work to increase union density and create a stronger, fairer America.”
Terry O’ Sullivan, international president of the Laborers union, called Walsh, “A hard-charging, hard-fighting, tireless and tenacious working-class warrior whose word is his bond, who says what he means and means what he says, and who can always be counted on to stand with working men and women.
“Marty never forgets where he came from. He values hard work and those that do it, and he has seen, firsthand, the power of the Trade Union Movement to transform lives.” Unions have also been a central part of Walsh’s subsequent political career, O’Sullivan noted.
“With his dedication and devotion to the cause, the purpose, and the mission of the Labor Movement, Walsh will restore and re-energize the Department of Labor’s role as a powerful guardian of workers, and strong and effective enforcer of labor laws. He will fight for all working people, regardless of where they come from, what language they speak, or what kind of work they do. He will work to bring skills training and a stronger voice on the job to millions of American workers who too often have been disregarded.”
UNDERSTANDS WORKING CLASS
“In choosing the union card-carrying Walsh to head a department tasked with administering and strengthening the nation’s labor and employment laws and protecting our workers, President-elect Biden has shown his support for unions,” Amalgamated Transit Union President John Costa said. “Mayor Walsh understands firsthand the struggles of the working class and has fought tirelessly to improve the rights and conditions of working people and their families.”
FIGHTING FOR WORKING FAMILIES
“Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has spent his entire life fighting for working families and an economy that rewards not wealth but hard-work,” IBEW International President Lonnie R. Stephenson said. “From his start as a member of the Laborers Union to his leadership of the Boston Building and Construction Trades Council to the Massachusetts State House and the mayor’s office, Walsh understands that good jobs, collective bargaining rights, and a fair playing field for working families are integral to a strong middle class.”
WILL HIT THE GROUND RUNNING
Walsh “will hit the ground running as a relentless worker advocate and ally, both inside the administration and in the public sphere,” said Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers. “He will fight for dignity and respect for all workers, including their right to unionize, for health and safety standards, to raise the minimum wage and to ensure workers and their unions have an opportunity to thrive. And he will help reverse President Trump’s four years of callous and craven attacks.”