“It is disappointing that the U.S. Senate voted today to confirm Alexander Acosta as our nation’s next labor secretary, especially when he refused to commit to advancing the mission of the U.S. Department of Labor, putting people over profits, or maintaining independence from the president during his confirmation hearing. Women and working people need a strong champion in the administration and will be watching closely as Secretary Acosta defines his priorities and takes on this critically important role.
Acosta was confirmed today in large part because he wasn’t as blatantly unqualified and his record was not as appalling as that of former nominee Andrew Puzder. But Acosta’s evasive, yet telling, comments during his hearing suggest there may be little difference between the two candidates when it comes to implementing President Trump’s anti-worker, anti-woman agenda. We hope that is not the case. Enforcement and advancement of overtime regulations, fair and equal pay, nondiscrimination protections, equal employment opportunities, family and medical leave, paid sick time and many other essential protections hang in the balance.
America’s women and working people will not let today’s vote be a death knell for workers’ rights or for continued progress toward the fair and family friendly advances the country urgently needs. The health, well-being and safety of workers and families depend on the values and priorities of the labor secretary, and we have the right to expect Secretary Acosta to stand up for working people’s best interests. If he fails to do so, we will not hesitate to call attention to what is at stake and hold him accountable.”