President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenHouse clears bill to provide veterans with cost-of-living adjustment On The Money — Dems dare GOP to vote for shutdown, default To reduce poverty, stop burdening the poor: What Joe Manchin gets wrong about the child tax credit MORE has tapped Boston Mayor Marty WalshMarty WalshBoston set to elect first female mayor Democrat Michelle Wu advances in Boston mayoral election Biden steps into legal fight with vaccine mandates MORE (D) to serve as his Labor Secretary, Politico reported on Thursday.
Major unions including the AFL-CIO, American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), and the American Federation of Teachers backed him for the Cabinet role.
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said on Thursday that Walsh will be an “exceptional labor secretary.”
“As a longtime union member, Walsh knows that collective bargaining is essential to building back better by combating inequality, beating COVID-19 and expanding opportunities for immigrants, women and people of color,” he said in a statement.
Trumka added that Walsh can help increase union density and overturn policies under the Trump administration and Labor Secretary Eugene ScaliaEugene ScaliaBiden should keep the new commonsense independent contractor rule Demolition at the Labor Department, too AFL-CIO calls on Trump to resign or be removed from office 'at once' MORE.
Walsh is a former union leader in Boston and was at the helm of the Boston Building and Construction Trades Council.
The 53-year-old mayor has served in his current role since 2014 and before that was a member of the Massachusetts state house since 1997. Biden and Walsh have had a longstanding relationship and the former vice president presided over Walsh’s second inauguration in 2018.
Other names floated for the role were Rep. Andy LevinAndrew (Andy) LevinAFL-CIO elects first woman as president Haiti Caucus: Forging path out of crisis will not be quick, but necessary to avoid false 'democracy' Overnight Defense: Two injured in latest attack on US troops in Iraq | Judge rules Air Force mostly responsible for 2017 Texas mass shooting | Shock and turmoil after Haiti assassination MORE (D-Mich.), vice chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, California Labor Secretary Julie Su, and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersPelosi says House members would not vote on spending bill topline higher than Senate's Groups push lawmakers to use defense bill to end support for Saudis in Yemen civil war Congress must address the looming debt crisis MORE (I-Vt.).
AFSCME President Lee Saunders said in November, when announcing the union’s support for Walsh for Labor Secretary, that he has “cut his teeth” in the labor movement.
“He is a card-carrying union member who has executive experience running a large city,” Saunders said. “There’s no doubt he’d be a high profile and passionate fighter for workers’ rights and that is why AFSCME backs him for secretary of labor.”
Walsh's nomination could face criticism from progressives looking for more diversity in the Cabinet after Biden promised to create a “Cabinet that looks like America.” Biden also nominated Merrick GarlandMerrick GarlandTexas sues Biden administration over guidance on transgender worker rights Barr-Durham investigation again fails to produce a main event Grassley calls for federal prosecutor to probe botched FBI Nassar investigation MORE for attorney general this week, another white man.
The Hill has reached out to the Biden transition team for confirmation.