Latina Hilda Solis to become US labor secretary

hilda solis labor secretary

California Representative Hilda Solis will be appointed as labor secretary, and labor unions admired President-elect Barack Obama’s selection.

Obama is expected to formally declare his nomination of Solis during a press conference on Friday, according to CNN.

Obama is also expected to name Illinois Rep. Ray LaHood as his pick for secretary of transportation.

The daughter of a union shop steward from Mexico and an assembly line worker from Nicaragua, Solis has led on both labor and environmental issues.

Solis, a committed advocate for the Employee Free Choice Act, is in line to be the third Hispanic nominee in Obama’s Cabinet.

Obama had been criticized by some Latino groups, who said Hispanics were not being picked for key Cabinet positions after Richardson was passed over for secretary of state. Instead, Obama picked his former rival, Sen. Hillary Clinton, to be his top diplomat.

As the economy continues to struggle, the 51-year-old legislator will be charged with overseeing a number of complex issues, including the federal minimum wage and other labor issues as businesses fail, merge, and the federal government pumps billions into publicly funded work projects.

Solis would succeed Elaine Chao, who has held the job for all eight years of the Bush administration, making her the longest-serving Labor secretary since Frances Perkins under President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Photo: AP