Earlier today President Barack Obama announced Thomas Perez as his nomination for secretary of labor. Perez currently serves in the Civil Rights devision of the Department of Justice and would be following up in the role that Hilda Solis left in January.
“Like so many Americans, Tom knows what it’s like to climb the ladder of opportunity. He is the son of Dominican immigrants. He helped pay his way through college as a garbage collector and working at a warehouse. He went on to become the first lawyer in his family. So his story reminds us of this country’s promise, that if you’re willing to work hard, it doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from, what your last name is — you can make it if you try,” said President Obama. The remarks were delievered earlier today from the East Room in the White House. Per the White House Pool report attendees including Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, NAACP President Richard Trumka, Al Sharpton, Valerie Jarrett, Gene Sperling and Executive Director of Labor Council for Latin American Advancement Hector Sanchez.
New York Times did the round-up of labor leaders, including the Teamsters’ own Jimmy Hoffa Jr. and AFL-CIO, and their opinions of Perez.
“And Tom has made protecting that promise — for everybody — the cause of his life. As a civil rights attorney, an aide to Senator Ted Kennedy, a member of the Montgomery, Maryland County Council, Tom fought for a level playing field where hard work and responsibility are rewarded and working families can get ahead,” said Obama. “Now, while he’s tackled plenty of tough issues, Tom has also spent a career as a consensus-builder. He’s worked with CEOs, he’s worked with labor leaders. He’s worked at federal, state, and local government levels. And throughout, he understands that our economy works best when the middle class and those working to get into the middle class have the security they need on the job, a democratic voice in the workplace, everybody playing by the same set of rules.”
There is no current date set for Perez’ Senate hearings or any opposition, so far, to his nomination. Perez gave selected remarks after Obama’s praise, summing it up like so:
“As you well know, our nation still faces critical economic challenges, and the Department’s mission is as important as ever. I am confident that together with our partners in organized labor, the business community, grassroots communities, Republicans, Democrats, and independents alike, we can keep making progress for all working families.”