AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka reacted today to the news President Obama will nominate Thomas Perez as the new secretary of labor:
Working men and women will be well served by President Obama’s choice of Tom Perez to lead the Department of Labor.
Throughout his career, Perez has fought to level the playing field and create opportunities for working people, whether in the workplace, the marketplace or the voting booth. He has worked to eliminate discrimination in housing, provide access to education and health care, end hate crimes, crack down on employers who cheat workers out of wages and expand our democracy by protecting the fundamental right of every American to vote. In the 1990’s, he worked on the front lines of the effort to pass comprehensive immigration reform under the leadership of the great Senator Ted Kennedy—a job that will serve him well in today’s drive for commonsense immigration reform.
At a time when our politics tilts so heavily toward corporations and the very wealthy, our country needs leaders like Tom Perez to champion the cause of ordinary working people. And working families need and deserve a strong advocate as their Secretary of Labor -- one who will vigorously enforce job safety standards, wage laws, and anti-discrimination rules, and who will speak out forcefully for working families and their workplace rights, including their right to join together to improve their lives and working conditions.
President Obama has chosen such an advocate in Tom Perez, and we congratulate him on this nomination.