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The Obama Administration's Labor Agenda and Outgoing Labor Secretary Chao's Legacy

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January 6, 2009

In a recent editorial, The New York Times comments on the appointment of Hilda Solis as labor secretary in the Obama Administration. The Times posits whether the administration will assert a forceful labor agenda, with the first test looming in the Employee Free Choice Act and other non-legislative issues, such as safety standards and overtime rules, on the horizon. Unions, of course, see great opportunity for growth and influence with the new administration taking office in economically stressed times, as reported here.

In a related article, The Los Angeles Times reports outgoing Labor Secretary Chao's legacy in the Bush administration. Although she claims that workers today are safer and healthier after her tenure than they were eight years ago, critics assail the labor department's failure to enforce wage and hour laws and mine safety laws.

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