On March 1, President Biden introduced his nominee to lead the U.S. Department of Labor, Julie Su. If confirmed, Su will become the first Asian American cabinet secretary in his administration.
“Julie brings decades of leadership experience in worker’s rights and a track record of implementing progressive policies to protect women, immigrants and workers of color,” said Sandra Engle, Secretary of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance’s (APALA) National Executive Board.
“APALA urges the Senate to take up Julie Su’s nomination quickly so that the Department of Labor can continue building a stronger and more inclusive economy for workers.”
Su, who is currently serving as the Deputy Secretary of Labor, is a civil rights attorney and former head of the California Labor Department.
If confirmed, Su will succeed Labor Secretary Marty Walsh who is departing to become the executive director for the Nation Hockey League Players Association.
In a statement issued after Biden’s announcement, AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler said “there’s no one more dedicated and qualified to defend the fundamental rights of working people than Julie Su. It’s her life’s work. The AFL-CIO is thrilled with her historic nomination to become our next secretary of labor.”
A wide range of elected officials, labor leaders, and community advocates have championed the President’s nomination of Su.
United Food and Commercial Workers said, “UFCW has had the pleasure to work with Julie in her role as CA Labor Secretary where we saw first-hand her commitment to workers’ rights. We look forward to working with her in the coming years.”
Robert Martinez, Jr., international president of the Machinists Union noted “We know that as DOL Secretary, Julie Su will continue to champion unions as the answer to historically high inequality and aggressively take on employers that trample on the rights of workers.”
“Deputy Secretary Su has an excellent record of being a fierce champion for working people,” Iron Workers General President Eric Dean said. “Her previous work at CA LWDA made important progress in protecting ironworkers. Su has been an active and skilled hand in implementing President Biden’s priorities for over two years and has contributed to the agency’s historic labor partnerships.”
Introducing Su, President Biden said “Julie is the American Dream. She’s committed to making sure that dream is in reach for every American.”
Accepting the nomination, Su said she believes in the “transformative power of America.” She noted that a union job gave her parents a path to the middle class, one that eventually led her to college at Stanford and law school at Harvard University.
“To all workers who are toiling in the shadows, know that we see you, we stand with you, and we will fight for you,” Su said. ■