February 17, 2017
In a welcome sign, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka offered a positive reaction to the nomination of former National Labor Relations Board Member Alex Acosta as Secretary of Labor, saying he "deserves serious consideration" and lauding him as "a public servant with experience enforcing [labor law]." HR Policy President and CEO Dan Yager observed, "While serving at the NLRB, Acosta was a needed voice of reason, helping restore much of the law to where it was prior to the controversial Board under President Clinton. His experience there and elsewhere in the federal government should ensure that he will enforce the law in an even-handed manner, ensuring that resources are targeted where needed. Meanwhile, there are very significant challenges in today’s workplace that are often connected to laws written in a different era. We look forward to working with Mr. Acosta to address this disconnect as well as the need for a workforce equipped to provide the skill needs of the future economy." "Alex is really more of an intellectual, who takes a scholarly approach to the law," said Obama-appointed NLRB Chair Wilma Liebman, who served with Acosta on the Bush Board. "He has a respect for the law and is interested in the law, and I think he's interested in the lives of regular people." In addition to his time on the Board, Mr. Acosta has considerable executive branch experience, serving as U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of Florida and Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department. Having successfully been confirmed by the Senate three times and barring unforeseen circumstances, it is likely Acosta's confirmation will be relatively uncomplicated.