|Tom Perez, the former Maryland Secretary of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, is congratulated by Vice President Joe Biden after his swearing-in ceremony. (Credit: U.S. Labor Department)|
Labor Secretary Tom Perez said he will make job creation his top priority as he was officially sworn in by Vice President Joe Biden this week. Perez inherits a struggling economy with 22 million unemployed Americans and a political landscape with pension plans and organizing rights under fierce attack.
Perez, a civil rights lawyer and the son of Dominican immigrants, endured right-wing smear campaigns to be confirmed as the 26th Labor Secretary by the U.S. Senate in July.
“I’m looking forward to working with everyone in the same way that I worked in Maryland and throughout my life; working together to find common ground – because job creation should never be a partisan issue,” said Perez. “We’re all in this together. Democrats have lost jobs. Republicans have lost jobs. We’re all Americans, and we all need and are entitled to have those ladders of opportunity.”
IAM International President Tom Buffenbarger was present at the swearing-in ceremony held in Washington, D.C.
“The Machinists Union looks forward to working side-by-side with Mr. Perez to protect the progress American workers have made and to push for further improvement in workplace safety, wages and benefits,” said Buffenbarger. “We have confidence that together, we can create a stronger middle class and a better America.”