In July, the U.S. Senate confirmed Julie Su as the next deputy secretary of labor in a 50-47 vote.

Julie Su was confirmed in July as the next deputy secretary of labor.

Su, formerly the secretary of the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency, is recognized as an expert on workers’ and civil rights.

Employers nationwide can expect Su to continue enforcement efforts on behalf of vulnerable workers.

Su was widely supported by union and worker advocacy groups. She joins former union leader and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh in the number 2 position at the Department of Labor.

Upon her confirmation, AFSCME President Lee Saunders said, “Julie Su and Marty Walsh will make a tremendous team. On behalf of 1.4 million AFSCME members, I congratulate Deputy Secretary Su and look forward to working with her in the years ahead.”

Senate Confirms Labor Lawyer Abruzzo as NLRB General Counsel

On July 21, the Senate confirmed Jennifer Abruzzo as the next General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Abruzzo was sworn in the following day by NLRB Chair Lauren McFerran.

In a statement announcing Abruzzo’s swearing in, the NLRB noted that “this is the first time in NLRB history that women are serving as both Chairman and General Counsel” of the agency.

Abruzzo most recently served as Special Counsel for Strategic Initiatives for the Communications Workers of America (CWA). Prior to her work at CWA, Abruzzo was Acting General Counsel and Deputy General Counsel at the NLRB. She spent more than two decades working for the NLRB in various capacities, including as Field Attorney, Supervisory Field Attorney and Deputy Regional Attorney in the Miami office, as well as Deputy Assistant General Counsel in the Division of Operations-Management in Washington, DC, where she oversaw Regional operations in the Northeast and Midwest. 

“I am thrilled to rejoin the Agency and once again work with its talented board agents, who are committed to fully protecting the rights of workers to freely associate and act collectively to improve their wages and working conditions. I am looking forward to partnering with them, as well as colleagues at other agencies to engage with and educate the public and to promote better enforcement of labor and employment laws,” Abruzzo said in a statement issued by the NLRB. “I believe that vigorous enforcement of the Act will help level the playing field for workers and their freely chosen representatives, bring much needed equity to the historically underserved members of our communities, engender safe and productive workplaces, which is particularly critical right now as we fight a pandemic, and build a better economy for workers, families, and communities in this country.”

Abruzzo had the full endorsement of the labor community, with AFL-CIO Government Affairs Director William Samuel calling her “eminently qualified for the important role.”

CWA President Chris Shelton said in a statement issued following Biden’s nomination of Abruzzo, “there is no one who has a more thorough grasp of the National Labor Relations Board and the purpose of the National Labor Relations Act than Jennifer Abruzzo. She is a brilliant attorney who understands how the actions of the NLRB impact the daily lives of people at their workplaces.”

AFSCME President Lee Saunders said,  “Jennifer Abruzzo’s long and exemplary career at the National Labor Relations Board makes her the perfect choice to lead efforts to restore this vital agency, which in recent years has been used to attack working people and weaken their rights. Her knowledge and experience will allow her to hit the ground running on day one – holding employers accountable, protecting the right to organize in a union and bargain collectively, and guaranteeing that workers are treated with dignity and respect.”