Boston Mayor and Friend to Labor Marty Walsh to Head USDOL
Media reports indicate that President-Elect Joe Biden will tap Boston Mayor Marty Walsh to serve as Secretary of Labor in his administration.
Fifty-three year-old Walsh has served as Boston’s Mayor for the past six years. He is the former head of Boston Metropolitan District Building Trades Council, an umbrella group of construction unions representing bricklayers, ironworkers, electricians, laborers and other construction trades.
Since winning the Presidential election in November, it was anticipated that the President-Elect would appoint a Labor Secretary with strong union ties. Walsh’s appointment signals that the Biden White House will advance a pro-labor agenda. Key items of that agenda include:
- Increasing unionization through quicker elections, automatic recognition by card check and organization of independent contractors
- Raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour
- Prioritizing worker safety through expanded OSHA enforcement initiatives and staffing
- Increasing enforcement for misclassifying employees as independent contractors, including a rollback of the Trump administration’s independent contractor rule
- Implementing a nationwide ban on non-compete agreements
On the union side, Walsh’s nomination is viewed as a significant win for the building trades. From a management perspective, Firm founder Jim Franczek commented, “Secretary-designate Walsh is an excellent choice. As Mayor of Boston, he is keenly aware of the issues that face employers. His background in the building trades will be essential as we address our country’s infrastructure needs. Walsh has demonstrated his ability to work effectively with a wide range of stakeholders – unions, employers and public agencies. President-Elect Biden is to be applauded for this fine choice.”