EPI applauds President-elect Biden’s choice of Marty Walsh as Secretary of Labor. After four years of an administration that systematically undermined the interests of working people and prioritized the interests of corporate executives and shareholders, we are encouraged that President-elect Biden has chosen a labor secretary with a strong union background who will be a champion for good jobs and the rights of working people. Walsh’s extensive experience as mayor of Boston and in the labor movement with the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LiUNA) and the Boston Building and Construction Trades Council positions him to carry out the mission to uphold and enforce labor standards and improve the wages and working conditions of all workers.
We urge the incoming administration to use its administrative authority to prioritize policies that benefit working people, including implementing an emergency standard to protect workers from the threat of COVID-19 on the job, updating the overtime threshold, addressing the misclassification of workers, raising the minimum wage and expanding paid leave for federal contractors, and increasing enforcement of worker protections across the board. But we also call on Congress to do its part by passing laws that benefit working people—including by passing expanded and adequate stimulus, raising the minimum wage, reforming labor law—and vastly increasing appropriations to the Labor Department so it can adequately fulfill its mission, including expanding and protecting the integrity and use of labor market data.