The Senate on Monday confirmed Martin J. Walsh, the mayor of Boston and a former chief of the town’s highly effective constructing trades council, as labor secretary. The vote was 68-29.
Mr. Walsh’s nomination to the place had received widespread reward from union officers, who had been keen about having one among their very own oversee the division, a historic rarity. Many union officers regard his shut relationship with the president as a bonus for labor teams.
“Because he enjoys mutual trust and respect with President Biden, he will be positioned to put labor’s concerns front and center on the national agenda,” Lee Saunders, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, mentioned in an electronic mail.
One of Mr. Walsh’s prime priorities as labor secretary can be re-energizing the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which critics have accused of failing to guard staff in the course of the pandemic. The security company not too long ago put out new steering to employers on defending staff from Covid-19 and is contemplating a brand new rule that will mandate security measures that the Trump administration declined to subject.
The division has already moved to put aside various guidelines issued by the Trump administration that weakened employee protections. One of these guidelines would probably have deemed most gig staff to be unbiased contractors relatively than staff, making them ineligible for the federal minimal wage and additional time pay.
Under Mr. Walsh, the division can be charged with crafting replacements for a few of these guidelines. It will probably transfer to develop different protections, such as elevating the edge beneath which most salaried staff are routinely eligible for time-and-a-half additional time pay, at the moment set at about $35,500.
Some progressive teams had urged Mr. Biden to pick a candidate from a extra various background as his labor secretary, however many union leaders touted Mr. Walsh’s document in Boston as proof that he can be a champion of all staff.
As mayor he supplied help to undocumented immigrants who federal authorities had been searching for to detain; pressed contractors to put aside no less than 40 p.c of their work on public building initiatives for racial minorities; and created gender impartial loos in City Hall.
“If you know Marty Walsh, you know that he has transcended race and class lines and fights for all with a real focus on the vulnerable,” mentioned Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers.
Mr. Walsh plans to resign as mayor this night, in line with an aide.