U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, who announced her resignation on Jan. 9, "brought urgently needed change to the Department of Labor, putting the U.S. government firmly on the side of working families," AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka says.
Solis became the first Latina to serve in a Cabinet when she joined the Obama administration in 2009. Before that, she served eight years in Congress.
President Obama called her "a tireless champion for working families." Over the last four years, he said, "Secretary Solis has been a critical member of my economic team as we have worked to recover from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression and strengthen the economy for the middle class. Her efforts have helped train workers for the jobs of the future, protect workers' health and safety and put millions of Americans back to work."
Trumka praised Solis for making the Labor Department a place of safety and support for workers. "Secretary Solis's Department of Labor talks tough and acts tough on enforcement, workplace safety, wage and hour violations, and so many other vital services. Secretary Solis never lost sight of her own working-class roots, and she always put the values of working families at the center of everything she did. We hope that her successor will continue to be a powerful voice both within the Obama administration and across the country for all of America's workers."
In her own statement, Solis said: "Growing up in a large Mexican-American family in La Puente, Calif., I never imagined that I would have the opportunity to serve in a president's Cabinet, let alone in the service of such an incredible leader. Because President Obama took very bold action, millions of Americans are back to work. There is still much to do, but we are well on the road to recovery, and middle-class Americans know the president is on their side. Together we have achieved extraordinary things, and I am so proud of our work on behalf of the nation's working families." [Dan Gursky, AFL-CIO, Associated Press]
January 10, 2013