Friday, January 9, 2009

Solis Confirmation Hearing Report

Rep. Hilda Solis, a four-term House member from California's 32nd Congressional District and a true friend of America's workers, appeared today before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee in a confirmation hearing on her nomination to be labor secretary. Today, we had an opportunity to hear the first extended discussion of how she plans to return the U.S. Department of Labor to its primary mission of protecting the lives, wages and rights of working people.

Solis is a longtime friend of the labor movement who comes to her understanding of unions and working people naturally—she is the daughter of immigrant working class, union member parents. Her dad was a Teamsters member and shop steward; her mom was an assembly line worker at a Mattel toy factory in Southern California and a member of the United Rubber Workers (since merged into the United Steelworkers).

Learn more about Hilda Solis on our blog.

As President-elect Barack Obama said repeatedly throughout the campaign, the Bush administration and outgoing Labor Secretary Elaine Chao spent eight years attacking workers' rights, workplace health and safety rules and unions while they carried the water for Big Business. We can count on Solis to change that focus.

We can help strengthen one of America's greatest assets, its labor force. I will work to strengthen our unions and support every American in our nation's diverse workforce. We also must enforce federal labor laws and strengthen regulations to protect our nation's workers, such as wage and hour laws, and rules regarding overtime pay and pay discrimination.
Hilda Solis, discussing her goals for the Labor Department

This isn't just talk—Solis has a long record to back this up. While in Congress, she has voted for the Employee Free Choice Act, raising the minimum wage, protecting the wages of construction workers, strengthening fair and equal pay laws for women, tough workplace safety standards, bolstering the rights of federal workers and other issues that we all agree should top the Labor Department's priority list.

Learn more about the Solis confirmation hearing on our blog.

In Solidarity,

Marc Laitin
Working Families e-Activist Network, AFL-CIO

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