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Stephanie Bloomingdale, President of the Wisconsin AFL-CIO, released the following statement on the resignation of U.S. Labor Secretary Alex Acosta:
As Alexander Acosta steps down as Secretary of the Department of Labor, the labor movement renews our call for a Labor Secretary who will put the needs of American workers first and foremost by enforcing labor law, raising wages, and protecting the freedom of all workers to collectively bargain.
Today’s resignation by U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta is the end of a tenure in office marked by a clear disregard for the interests of working Americans. As the leader of the federal agency charged with protecting and promoting workers’ rights, Secretary Acosta consistently demonstrated greater concern for the interests of corporate bosses. During his time in office, Acosta rolled back overtime protections for workers denying millions of Americans hard-earned wages, tried to make it legal for bosses to pocket workers’ tips, exempted certain seasonal workers from federal minimum wage increases and aimed to roll back child labor law.
Acosta’s willingness to implement policies that favored corporations over workers whose rights he was charged with protecting made him unsuited for the job.
The Secretary of Labor is more than just a cabinet member — his or her actions directly impact worker wages, safety, retirement security and rights and protections on the job every single day. Deregulation and slashing workplace protections is a recipe for disaster. Working Americans deserve a strong Labor Department that defends workers’ rights instead of tipping the scales even further towards the rich and well-connected.
The official mission of the Department of Labor is “to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.”
We call on President Trump and the U.S. Senate to nominate and confirm a new Secretary who is capable and willing to fulfill this mission.