February 24, 2009
Cynthia Leonor Garza
Statement by the American Federation of Teachers
On Hilda Solis' Senate Confirmation as Secretary of Labor
WASHINGTON—The AFT congratulates Hilda Solis on her confirmation as U.S. Secretary of Labor. The Labor Department's main purpose, according to the law that established it, is "to foster, promote and develop the welfare of working people, to improve their working conditions, and to advance their opportunities for profitable employment." In her new post, Solis will be the voice and champion of the men and women who are the engines of our economy, our country's workers.
Throughout her career in public service, Secretary Solis has dedicated herself to advancing issues that improve the lives of working Americans and their families—from increasing California's minimum wage to advancing pioneering work on environmental justice issues to promoting workers' right to form a union.
Secretary Solis will be a strong advocate for workers, and her efforts as Secretary of Labor will be a prominent piece of President Obama's agenda to promote policies that prepare individuals to be productive members of the 21st-century workforce. We look forward to working with a labor secretary who takes to heart the department's mission to ensure fair and safe workplaces for America's working men and women.
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The AFT represents more than 1.4 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.