At the WSJ Washington Wire blog, Melanie Trotman reports that Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis today told the AFL-CIO Constitutional Convention that she would be getting more active in the effort to pass EFCA:
Hilda Solis made a shift that’s certain to please unions.
The labor secretary abandon her passive support of the union-organizing bill now sitting in the Senate, telling labor unions Monday that she’ll actively work with the White House to “make the strongest case possible” for passage of the Employee Free Choice Act.
Last month, when asked about her efforts to push the bill that would make it easier for unions to organize workers and win contracts through binding arbitration, Solis said she supported its underlying principles but was leaving the rest up to Congress. “Congress is the voice of the public and I’m just the administrator,” is how she had put.
Today, there was no equivocation. In her speech to the AFL-CIO convention in Pittsburgh, she said she and President Barack Obama “will join you in the fight for the Employee Free Choice Act.”
“I will work with the White House so that together we can make the strongest case possible” for the bill, Solis said to applause.
Though she didn’t provide specifics on what she and Obama intend to do, the pledge comes at a critical time for the Obama administration as it reaches what it hopes will be the last stretch of the push for a health-care overhaul. Solis’s health-care pitch revived slogans that energized audiences during Obama’s presidential campaign: “Are you fired up and ready to go? Yes we can, yes we will? I’m fired up,” she chanted.
- "Secretary Hilda L. Solis AFL-CIO Constitutional Convention Remarks" — AFL-CIO
- "Labor Secretary Hilda Solis at the AFL-CIO Convention" — AFL-CIO Convention Videos
- "Labor chief pledges White House support for reform" — Reuters
- "Card Check: Creating Jobs By Destroying Them" — ShopFloor.org