Our own Hilda Solis as labor secretary?

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Rep. Hilda Solis, D-El Monte

The last time I spoke to Hilda Solis was at the opening of the East Valley Clinic in West Covina. Before that, Solis was standing next to an unfinished Gold Line in Glendora listing the reasons why the foothill extension of the light-rail line was a good deal for the economy and the environment.

No doubt about it, Solis is a whirlwind on environmental issues, transportation and health care. Labor would not come first to my mind. But she did author a minimum wage hike law back in 1996.

Many people I spoke to today were suprised to hear the Associated Press report that Solis was President-elect Barack Obama’s nominee for secretary of labor. In fact, many were just as suprised a few years back when she won the Profiles in Courage Award. Quite an honor.

But Solis is not a stranger to labor issues. One of the biggest litmus tests for her will be the Employee Free Choice Act, which would allow employees to form a union with a simple check mark on a card instead of a drawn-out union vote via secret ballots. The House passed the bill in 2007 along party lines by a vote of 241-185 and it received 51 Senate votes but not enough, that would be 60, to stop a filibuster. Is Obama positioning his cabinet and the Congress to pass the new law which will change the way labor unions are formed for the first time in 71 years?
Some say the battle over the EFCA will be the fiercest battle in the Congress and the Obama White House. Will Solis be in the middle of that fray?
By the way, she voted in favor.

This entry was posted in environment, land use, Pasadena by Steve Scauzillo. Bookmark the permalink.

About Steve Scauzillo

I love journalism. I've been working in journalism for 32 years. I love communicating and now, that includes writing about environment, transportation and the foothill/Puente Hills communities of Hacienda Heights, Rowland Heights, Walnut and Diamond Bar. I write a couple of columns, one on fridays in Opinion and the other, The Green Way, in the main news section. Send me ideas for stories. Or comments. I was opinion page editor for 12 years so I enjoy a good opinion now and then.

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