Biden Nominates Julie Su to Be His Next Labor Secretary
WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Tuesday nominated Deputy Labor Secretary Julie Su to be his next secretary of labor, less than two weeks after the current holder of the post, Marty Walsh, announced his departure.
As previously reported by The Well News, Walsh is leaving the administration in mid-March to become the next executive director of the National Hockey League Players’ Association.
Assuming Su’s nomination is confirmed by the U.S. Senate, she is poised to become the first Asian American member of the president’s Cabinet.
She was confirmed as deputy secretary in the same chamber last July.
“Julie has spent her life fighting to make sure that everyone has a fair shot, that no community is overlooked, and that no worker is left behind,” Biden said in a written statement released by the White House as he traveled to Virginia Beach, Virginia, Tuesday for an appearance.
The daughter of Chinese immigrants, Su was born in Wisconsin and later earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Stanford University and a Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School.
Su started her legal career at Asian Pacific American Legal Center, a nonprofit legal aid and civil rights organization, in Los Angeles, California, and then served as litigation director for Advancing Justice L.A., another nonprofit.
During Jerry Brown’s tenure as governor, Su headed California’s Division of Labor Standards Enforcement; then, under Gov. Gavin Newsom, she served as secretary of the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency.
As the California Labor commissioner, she launched the “Wage Theft is a Crime” campaign with the support of both labor and management.
“Over several decades, Julie has led the largest state labor department in the nation, cracked down on wage theft, fought to protect trafficked workers, increased the minimum wage, created good-paying, high-quality jobs, and established and enforced workplace safety standards,” the president said of her qualifications to be Labor secretary.
“Julie is a champion for workers, and she has been a critical partner to Secretary Walsh since the early days of my administration,” Biden continued, adding, “She helped avert a national rail shutdown, improved access to good jobs free from discrimination through my Good Jobs Initiative, and is ensuring that the jobs we create in critical sectors like semiconductor manufacturing, broadband and health care are good-paying, stable and accessible jobs for all.
“I look forward to continuing to work with Julie to build an economy that works for working people, and I respectfully ask the Senate to take up this nomination quickly so that we can finish the job for America’s workers,” he said.
Just 11 days ago, Biden announced he’d accepted Walsh’s resignation, calling him “one tough union chief.”
“His record at the Department of Labor is a testament to the power of putting a card-carrying union member in charge of fighting for American workers,” the president said.
“Marty has gone to bat for working families every day, and with his help, this administration has helped workers recover from a historic economic downturn and launch a new era of worker power,” Biden added.