Department of Labor Secretary Addresses Challenges at AFL-CIO

Labor Secretary Thomas Perez continued his pursuit of advocating for the creation of a strong and unified workforce in his recent address at the AFL-CIO 27th Constitutional Convention in Los Angeles, CA.

In his address, Secretary Perez expressed his belief that the labor movement “is one of our greatest forces for middle-class economic security.” He pointed to the tangible and real correlation between the health of middle class and that of a vital and functioning labor movement—something that he warns “has come under withering attack in recent years.

He highlighted the need for a “dynamic and empowered labor movement” as an essential component if the country’s economy is to “grow from the middle.”

KRA Corporation fully appreciates the Secretary’s viewpoint, as well as his passionate “pursuit of basic fairness and opportunity for everyone.” We continue to advocate for the rights of all workers and seek ways through policy and practice to help level the opportunity playing field for employees, employers, and the communities that they call home.

Long an advocate for workplace and earning equality, the Secretary also highlighted the responsibility of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) in building “ladders of opportunity with sturdy rungs that all people can reach” pointing to the necessity for the development and implementation of the types of competitive skills that benefit both employer and employee into the future.

It is this skill market that KRA Corporation has spent over 30 years manning and seeking to improve, so as to provide those opportunities to underserved and low-income populations, and we are heartened to hear that our mission and the one Secretary Perez envisions are in line with one another.

The Secretary also reiterated his belief that Congress should raise the Federal minimum wage, stating “hard-working people who put in 40 hours a week and take responsibility for themselves and their families should not live in poverty.”

It is something that KRA Corporation has highlighted in past posts and feels is an important step toward the workforce development and employment equity that improves the lives of individuals and strengthens the communities in which we live.

In closing his speech, Secretary Perez spoke of the work that he feels still has to be done and the challenges that the DOL still faces. From immigration reform and workplace safety to pay-scale equity for women and protection of underserved communities his list is a long one—and it is one that KRA Corporation and its dedicated team looks forward to working with the Secretary to check off, now and into the future.

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