Michigan congressman and former union organizer
“He’ll be able to do the job from the moment he walks in there,” said Communications Workers of America President
The president-elect, Shelton said, will “want a secretary of Labor who’s pro-labor, and I don’t know that he can find one that’s more pro-labor than Andy Levin.”
Shelton said he’s shared his support for Levin with the AFL-CIO, and will be making the case for him to the Biden transition team and to fellow labor leaders. After President
The Biden transition didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
The AFL-CIO said Monday that it is not currently pushing any particular candidate. AFL-CIO President
Levin has been making the case for himself to labor leaders including Trumka, according to union officials. The congressman declined to divulge any such conversations, instead saying that he talks to union chiefs “all the time,” and that it’s “an honor to be mentioned” for the cabinet.
Biden “has an opportunity to create a legacy of lifting up the voice and power of working people in a way that can really be transformative for our country,” Levin said. “Whatever way I can help him do that, I’m going to put all of my heart and soul into it. I assume it’ll be in Congress.”
United Auto Workers Vice President
The UAW’s president Rory Gamble hasn’t yet surveyed the union’s board or recommended anyone to the Biden team, but “we highly respect Rep. Levin as well as others who have been mentioned publicly for the job,” UAW spokesperson Brian Rothenberg said in an emailed statement.
American Federation of Teachers president
“I believe that a labor leader should lead the Labor Department,” Weingarten said, while declining to discuss the merits of particular contenders. She said it’s also important to pick someone who will have the president’s ear, and the “gravitas” to enact an agenda.
John Samuelsen, president of the Transport Workers Union, said he’d be thrilled to see either Levin or Sanders as labor secretary. “Andy’s a union organizer, and Bernie’s Bernie,” Samuelsen said. Still, he said, “almost any Democrat would be an upgrade.”
The National Skills Coalition, a group backed by business and worker advocates, also backed Levin for Labor in an Oct. 30 letter to the Transition Team, calling him a “champion” best-suited to help forge “a truly inclusive economic recovery.”
The Labor secretary oversees agencies responsible for key aspects of the Covid-19 response such as unemployment benefits and workplace safety enforcement, and handles hot-button issues like oversight of guest worker programs and whether gig workers are employees.
Others seen by some labor leaders as contenders for the post include
Levin is a former AFL-CIO assistant organizing director, Michigan chief workforce officer, and clean energy business owner. The AFL-CIO rated him at 90% on its legislative scorecard for last year, deducting points in part because he voted against Trump’s U.S.-Mexico-Canada-Agreement, which he said he feared would “perpetuate the harms of Nafta” for workers. While some labor leaders also opposed the deal, the AFL-CIO endorsed it, calling it “an agreement that working people can proudly support.”
International Association of Firefighters president
“Joe Biden will do what he did with his running mate,” Schaitberger said. “He will give it a lot of thought, not be pushed, not be hurried, and he’ll work his way through and then he’ll make the decision.”
Levin’s family has long been involved in Michigan politics. His seat was held by his father,
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