Yesterday, despite widespread opposition, the Senate confirmed Alexander Acosta as our new Secretary of Labor. It is a disappointing turn of events, but not one we cannot overcome.
Acosta’s record of positions and actions harmful to America’s 12 million restaurant workers are no secret. This makes his confirmation all the more appalling. During his tenure at the Department of Justice, he supported efforts to suppress black voters. While a U.S. Attorney, he gave a wealthy business man accused of soliciting underaged prostitutes a light sentence.
There’s more. In 2003, he voted in favor of firing hospital strikers. Later, he disregarded an employer’s efforts to intimidate workers attempting to form a union. He even voted in the minority against penalization of a company guilty of misconduct.
The job of the Secretary of Labor is to protect our nation’s most vulnerable workers from exploitation. The job of the Senate is to carefully and rigorously vet anyone nominated for such a critical role. Our government has failed us on both counts. At his hearing before the Senate HELP Committee, Acosta repeatedly dodged important questions regarding protections for women and low wage workers. That should have been disqualifying. Unfortunately, the Senate thought otherwise.
We cannot be deterred. Resistance to the Trump Administration’s dangerous agenda is growing. From our campaign for One Fair Wage, to our leadership and avid support for Monday’s nationwide May 1 Strike; ROC is committed to this fight. But we cannot do it without you.