Martin Walsh, Boston’s Mayor, Confirmed as Labor Secretary

The Senate confirmed Martin J. Walsh, the mayor of Boston and a former chief of town’s highly effective constructing trades council, as labor secretary on Monday. The vote was 68 to 29.

The affirmation stuffed the final management position for the 15 govt departments in President Biden’s cupboard. Of 9 different cabinet-level management roles, seven have been stuffed.

In an announcement after the vote, Mr. Walsh mentioned that he was grateful for the Senate’s bipartisan assist and that he shared Mr. Biden’s and Vice President Kamala Harris’s “dedication to constructing an economic system that works for all.”

“I’ve been a fighter for the rights of working individuals all through my profession, and I stay dedicated to making sure that everybody — particularly these in our most marginalized communities — receives and advantages from full entry to financial alternative and truthful remedy within the office,” Mr. Walsh mentioned within the assertion. “I consider we should meet this historic second, and because the nation’s secretary of labor, I pledge to assist our economic system construct again higher.”

Mr. Walsh’s nomination had received widespread reward from union officers, who had been smitten by having considered one of their very own oversee the division, a historic rarity. Many union officers regard his shut relationship with the president as a bonus for labor teams.

“As a result of he enjoys mutual belief and respect with President Biden, he will likely be positioned to place labor’s considerations entrance and heart on the nationwide agenda,” Lee Saunders, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Staff, mentioned in an e-mail.

Certainly one of Mr. Walsh’s prime priorities as labor secretary will likely be re-energizing the Occupational Security and Well being Administration, which critics have accused of failing to guard employees through the pandemic. The security company lately put out new steering to employers on defending employees from Covid-19 and is contemplating a brand new rule to mandate security measures that the Trump administration rejected.

The division has already moved to put aside a variety of guidelines issued by the Trump administration that weakened employee protections. A kind of guidelines would in all probability have deemed most gig employees to be unbiased contractors reasonably than workers, making them ineligible for the federal minimal wage and additional time pay.

Below Mr. Walsh, the division will likely be charged with crafting replacements for a few of these guidelines. It is going to most definitely transfer to develop different protections, corresponding to elevating the brink — at present set at about $35,500 — under which most salaried employees are routinely eligible for time-and-a-half additional time pay.

As mayor, he provided assist to undocumented immigrants whom federal officers had been in search of to detain, pressed contractors to put aside no less than 40 % of their work on public development tasks for racial minorities, and created gender-neutral loos in Metropolis Corridor.

“If Marty Walsh, that he has transcended race and sophistication strains and fights for all with an actual concentrate on the weak,” mentioned Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Academics.

Mr. Walsh plans to resign as mayor on Monday night, in line with an aide.

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