By Pension and Benefits Editorial Staff
On March 23, 2021, the Senate confirmed President Biden’s nominee for Secretary of Labor—former Boston Mayor Marty Walsh. The 68-29 vote saw 17 Republicans joining Democrats to support the nominee, while the remaining Republicans voted against him.
The Department of Labor quickly released a statement on the confirmation. “As the son of immigrants and a former union laborer, I share their deep commitment to building an economy that works for all,” Walsh said. “I have been a fighter for the rights of working people throughout my career, and I remain committed to ensuring that everyone—especially those in our most marginalized communities—receives and benefits from full access to economic opportunity and fair treatment in the workplace. I believe we must meet this historic moment and, as the nation’s Secretary of Labor, I pledge to help our economy build back better.”
Background and experience. Before he took office, President Biden nominated Marty Walsh, then-Boston mayor and former labor union leader, for the position. He is said to be the first union member to serve in this role in nearly 50 years. Walsh is known as a pro-worker advocate, fighting for a $15 minimum wage and paid family leave. When nominated, he also was serving as the Chairman of Climate Mayors, a group of 470 mayors nationwide.
Before his service as mayor, Walsh was a legislator for the 13th Suffolk District in the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 1997 until 2014, Co-Chair of the Massachusetts Democratic Party Labor Caucus, and Co-Chair for the Special Commission on Public Construction Reform. He was also president of the Laborers’ Union Local 223 and was elected secretary-treasurer and general agent of the Boston Metropolitan District Building Trades Council, and later named to lead the union in 2011.
Marty Walsh earned his bachelor’s degree from the Woods College of Advancing Studies at Boston College.
Source: DOL News Release No. 21-554-NAT.
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