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White House nominates Julie Su as new Labor Secretary

Julie Su, currently serving as the Deputy Secretary of Labor, is the official nominee to replace outgoing Labor Secretary Marty Walsh. Walsh left the Biden administration to become the president of the National Hockey League Players Association union.

President Joe Biden made the official nomination announcement on March 1, and said in a statement, “Julie is a champion for workers, and she has been a critical partner to Secretary Walsh since the early days of my Administration.” Biden added, “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.”

Biden also tweeted his support on social media and said it was his “honor to nominate” Su to replace Walsh.

Before working in the Department of Labor, Su was the secretary for California’s Labor and Workforce Development Agency and served as the state’s labor commissioner from 2011 through 2018.

In a statement, Americans for Fair Treatment CEO Elisabeth Messenger said of Su’s nomination, “Looking at leadership across the labor sector today, I am encouraged to see women at the helm. I hope that as labor secretary, Ms. Su will fight for the freedom of all public employees and ensure American workers are protected from mistreatment and coercion by their unions.”

Multiple union officials also chimed in on Su’s nomination and the White House compiled twenty-one quotes to bolster support for Su.

Randi Weingarten, president of American Federation of Teachers (AFT), called Su’s nomination as “great news” and that Su “isn’t just ready to lead the labor department, she’s read to make a difference for workers across the country.” It is not clear whether Weingarten meant to say Su is “ready” to make a difference or is well-read to help make a difference.

Other quoted union officials were AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) President Mary Kay Henry, National Education Association (NEA) President Becky Pringle, and American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) President Lee Saunders.

Su’s nomination will go before the U.S. Senate, where she was previously confirmed as deputy secretary by a 50-47 vote in 2021 after a seven-month process of votes and hearings.

Spencer Irvine

Spencer Irvine is Senior Writer & Researcher at Americans for Fair Treatment, a community of current and former public-sector employees offering resources and support to exercise their First Amendment rights. Spencer previously worked in state government, in communications for a non-profit advocacy organization, and held various administrative and communications roles at a media analysis organization. He has a master’s degree in public administration from George Washington University and a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Brigham Young University. He lives in Arizona with his wife, is an avid history buff and enjoys touring historic sites.