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President-elect Joe Biden has selected Boston Mayor Marty Walsh to serve as secretary of the Department of Labor.
A representative of the mayor’s office confirmed Walsh’s nomination Jan. 7. During his time as mayor, Walsh created tools for low-income workers such as a job apprenticeship program and an Office of Financial Empowerment.
Prior to being elected mayor in 2013, Walsh served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives.
Walsh has strong labor ties, following his father into Laborers Local 223 in Boston and leading the Building and Construction Trades Council, a group of 20 local construction unions in the Boston metropolitan area.
“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,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said.
The Laborers’ International Union of North America cheered Walsh’s nomination to lead the department. A labor union with about 500,000 members, LIUNA represents workers in the construction and energy sectors.
Saluting the men and women of the trucking industry who kept America's essential goods flowing during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Marty Walsh is a living embodiment of the American dream,” said Terry O’Sullivan, general president of LIUNA. “I know that with his dedication and devotion to the cause, the purpose and the mission of the Labor Movement, Marty 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.”
American Trucking Associations President Chris Spear congratulated Walsh on his nomination in a statement issued Jan. 7. Spear said Walsh’s experience as mayor and work within the building industry will be valuable qualities as the nation addresses infrastructure issues. ATA has advocated for a comprehensive infrastructure bill.
“The professional drivers, mechanics, dockworkers and dispatchers — the millions of individuals who make up the workforce of our industry — are the critical resource that powers trucking and our economy,” Spear said.
Biden also is expected to nominate Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo to serve as secretary of the Department of Commerce. A spokesman for Raimondo’s office could not offer confirmation of her nomination as of Jan. 7.
Raimondo is architect of the controversial RhodeWorks program that includes trucks-only tolls. The trucking industry is currently engaged in a legal battle, asserting Rhode Island’s tolls discriminate against interstate commerce.
Raimondo co-founded Point Judith Capital, an early-stage venture capital firm based in Boston.
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