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Marty Walsh’s nomination as head of DOL clears Senate committee

Photo: U.S. Department of the Interior Flickr

Washington — Boston Mayor Marty Walsh’s nomination for labor secretary gained the approval of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on Feb. 11.

After an 18-4 vote, Walsh’s nomination now awaits confirmation from the full Senate. No date for a vote had been set at press time.

Prior to the vote, Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), ranking member of the HELP Committee, offered his support and encouraged his colleagues to do the same.

“Mayor Walsh has the background, the skills and awareness of the need for balance in conversations between labor and management,” Burr said. “He emphasized that he wanted to work with us collaboratively to help the American workers improve and expand opportunities.”

During a Feb. 4 confirmation hearing before the committee, Walsh highlighted his past efforts supporting employers and workers, along with his cooperation with Republicans and Democrats. He also explained how OSHA shouldn’t operate with an “us vs. them” mindset.

“We should be working with OSHA, working with the administration and working with members of this committee to talk about the importance of bringing OSHA back as an agency that is an agency to help workers and help employers and not put in the middle of both,” Walsh said.

Before becoming mayor of Boston in January 2014, Walsh joined Laborers’ Union Local 223 at age 21 and later led the Boston Metropolitan District Building Trades Council. He also served more than 16 years as a Massachusetts state representative.


“As a state representative for 16 years, I worked on economic development and worker protections in collaboration with four Republican governors and one Democratic governor,” Walsh said. “As general agent of the Metropolitan Building Council, I worked with developers and contractors to secure good jobs and major investments.

“Throughout my career, I’ve led by listening, collaborating and building partnerships. That’s how, if confirmed, I will lead the Department of Labor.”

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