APALA Statement on the Confirmation of Thomas E. Perez

APALA Statement on the Confirmation of Thomas E. Perez
The Right Leader for Secretary of Labor
July 18, 2013- The Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO (APALA) commends the Senate and Majority Leader Harry Reid on the confirmation of the next Secretary of Labor, Thomas E. Perez. The 54-46 vote clears the pathway for a historic moment of the first-ever Dominican American cabinet-level appointee and progress for all working families.


“Under Perez’s leadership, the Department of Labor will continue to protect the welfare of American wage earners, immigrant workers and retirees,” said Johanna Puno Hester, APALA National President. “His personal experience as a child of immigrant parents and his victories on worker’s rights reflect a real understanding and commitment to social justice. We look forward to working closely with him on issues affecting Asian Pacific Americans and communities at-large”.

Perez previously served as the Assistant Attorney Generation for the Civil Rights Division at the U.S. Department of Justice and the Maryland Department of Labor. His extensive track record includes broadening court access for limited English proficient (LEP) individuals and tackling language barriers within the Department of Justice through compliance with Executive Order 13166.

“Long-term unemployment remains high among Asian Pacific Americans and we continue to see cases of labor trafficking and abuse of workers from the Philippines, India and Latin American countries,” said Gregory Cendana, APALA Executive Director. “We are extremely confident that the needs and rights of all workers – regardless of their status – will be addressed with our new Secretary of Labor. Today’s vote is a huge step forward; however, the delayed confirmation has been disappointing and costly for our country. We urge the Senate to move decisively on upcoming confirmations of the President’s nominees including the National Labor Relations Board.”



The Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA), AFL-CIO was founded in 1992 as the first and only national organization for Asian Pacific American union members to advance worker, immigrant and civil rights. For more information, visit www.apalanet.org and follow@APALAnational


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