UPDATE: Laura Clawson
Presiden Joe Biden will nominate Julie Su, the current deputy labor secretary. If she’s confirmed, she’ll be Biden’s first Asian American Cabinet member.
“It is my honor to nominate Julie Su to be our country’s next Secretary of Labor. 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 statement. "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 White House is reportedly vetting two candidates to replace outgoing Labor Secretary Marty Walsh. Deputy Labor Secretary Julie Su has been a leading candidate from the moment Walsh’s exit was rumored—in fact, she was a leading candidate at the time he was chosen. Su, a former California labor secretary and longtime advocate for immigrant and low-wage workers, has significant support from labor unions.
Also reportedly being vetted is Sara Nelson, the president of the Association of Flight Attendants. Nelson has the backing of Sen. Bernie Sanders and is an actual longtime union member and leader, which Su is not.
Su has the advantage of knowing the Labor Department at a high level and being already involved in its ongoing work. Nelson is one of the best current spokespeople for workers in the U.S. Neither of these is a bad choice.
● A company that cleans meatpacking plants is paying $1.5 million for child labor violations. Children as young as 13 were working around dangerous equipment like saws, with dangerous chemicals like ammonia, and were exposed to animal feces and blood. Does that sound like a $1.5 million fine is enough? But it’s the maximum civil penalty allowed by federal law.
● Call it the Elon Musk Honorary Rule: The National Labor Relations Board ruled that companies cannot use severance agreements to block former employees from criticizing the company.
● After two years on strike, workers at Warrior Met Coal in Alabama are giving in and offering to go back to work. Hamilton Nolan sees "utter failure of the Democratic imagination."
● Workers at a New York City restaurant are seeking to unionize, and they’ve run into a classic union-busting campaign, but one with a twist: a Latino union-busting consultant who tries to appeal to shared identity (the restaurant workers are majority Latino) to talk people out of supporting the union.