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Su’s standing as next U.S. Secretary of Labor grows stronger

Julie Su’s chances of becoming the next Secretary of Labor are increasing as Su’s circle voices support for her appointment in President-elect Joe Biden’s cabinet and organized labor remains divided over other candidates, Bloomberg Law reports. 

Su, California’s current Labor Secretary, has privately expressed to friends that she would accept if offered the job, Bloomberg reports. 

According to Business Insider, supporters are lauding Su’s extensive work with workers’ rights and view her as a ‘supremely qualified’ candidate to address workers’ needs during a pandemic. 

“It is a critical time for women’s leadership and we need a strong woman as U.S. Secretary of Labor, especially a woman of color who understands what it’s like to grow up in an immigrant household,” a letter signed by labor leader Dolores Huerta notes. “She fully enforced the rights of farm workers, janitors, and domestic workers. In short, Su has been at the forefront of some of the most innovative policies and enforcement strategies in our state’s history.”

At age 26, Su was awarded a MacArthur ‘Genius Grant’ in 2001 for representing undocumented Thai workers who faced harsh conditions in a garment factory outside Los Angeles, Business Insider reports. The daughter of Chinese immigrants began working for statewide office in 2011 and was later appointed California’s Secretary of Labor in 2019. 

“She has really been a warrior for us,” Los Angeles County Federation of Labor President Ron Herrera said. 

Su’s path to the role may be made easier as labor unions split support across three candidates, including Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, Rep. Andy Levin (D-Mich.), and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Bloomberg reports. 

Su’s appointment would mean a more diverse cabinet, according to a previous AsAmNews article. Several Asian Americans are on the shortlist for positions in Biden’s cabinet, including Thai American Sen. Tammy Duckworth and Arun Majumdar. 

According to AsAmNews, Duckworth may be a pick for Secretary of Defense or Secretary of Veterean Affairs, while Majumdar may be a pick for Secretary of Energy. 

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