U.S. Rep. Hilda Solis (D-Calif.) will be nominated as the next U.S. Secretary of Labor – a move that has union leaders cheering and business leaders more pessimistic. Nursery industry advocates see a mixed picture. Some are concerned by her record as a leading congressional advocate for card check legislation. According to this short profile from the Associated Press:
Joseph McCartin, a professor of labor history at Georgetown University, said the selection shows how committed Obama is to the agenda of organized labor, which spent millions helping him win. “The fact that she comes off of Capitol Hill puts her in a good position to lead that fight, which is going to be decided on Capitol Hill,” McCartin said.
Solis also led the fight to increase the minimum wage in California in the mid 1990s, and that state still has one of the highest minimum wages in the nation (along with Oregon, Washington and Massachusetts). Many in the nursery industry can relate to Solis’ personal history. She is the American-born daughter of a Mexican immigrant and has been supportive of increasing guest worker visas under the H2A and H2B programs. She has also been an advocate of farm worker safety measures. Here are other articles about her nomination: