Sara Lonardo,, 202/730-7332

Issued March 22, 2017

SEIU’s Henry: Working people need, deserve a Labor secretary who will put their interests first

WASHINGTON, D.C.—SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry issued the following statement after the Senate Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions Committee concluded its hearing on the nomination of Alexander Acosta to be secretary of Labor: 

“Despite working longer and harder, working families have been struggling for financial security in an economy that isn’t working for them. If he is confirmed, Alexander Acosta would hold the vital position responsible for fulfilling the Department of Labor’s mission to ‘foster, promote and develop’ the ability of wage earners and working people to pay the bills, save for retirement and provide for their children. Sadly, we heard nothing in today’s hearing that answers how Acosta can be the kind of leader working families across the nation need.

“The ability to join together and have a voice at work through a union is vital to the ability of working people to have good-paying jobs and a say in our economy. Acosta has not shown how he would help rebalance the rules that rig our economic system to favor corporations over working people or how he would stand up against the attack from the right to join together in a union.

“The Trump administration has already proposed gutting the Labor Department’s ability to crack down on low-road employers who put their employees in danger or steal their wages. Acosta’s refusal to speak out against those actions or oppose dangerous budget cuts means he will be just another part of a self-interested political class that enables greedy corporations to make record profits by taking advantage of working people.

“Working families need and deserve a Labor secretary who will put their interests first; Alexander Acosta is not that person. Senators should oppose his nomination.”