December 18, 2008

Hilda Solis Said to Be Obama’s Pick for Labor Post

Representative Hilda Solis, a California Democrat, is President-elect Barack Obama’s pick for Labor secretary, according to a Democratic official.

Solis, 51, is a four-term member of Congress with an extensive record on environmental issues. Her legislative accomplishments include spearheading a bill to provide workforce training for “green-collar” employment. Such initiatives are a hallmark of Obama’s plan to address the country’s energy needs and create new jobs.

Obama has promised to push an ambitious labor agenda to strengthen unions, protect jobs and bolster the middle class. The president-elect is set to announce the Solis appointment tomorrow in Chicago. Solis is a favorite of labor groups including the Service Employees International Union.

“We’re thrilled,” said SEIU President Andy Stern, who canvassed door-to-door with Solis when she first ran as a state senator. “She’s been as strong a voice for justice for SEIU workers like our janitors and homecare workers as we’ve ever had.”

Solis would succeed Elaine Chao, who has held the job for all eight years of the Bush administration, making her the longest-serving Labor secretary since Frances Perkins under President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Source: Bloomberg

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