WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President-elect Joe Biden has decided to nominate Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, a former union official, to serve as labor secretary, a source familiar with the plans told Reuters on Thursday.
Biden has also chosen Isabel Guzman to lead the Small Business Administration, the source said.
Walsh, currently in his second term as mayor of Boston, has fought hard to “rebuild the middle class, build a more inclusive, resilient economy, and fight for workers in his hometown,” the source said, adding that Walsh backed both a $15 minimum wage and paid family leave.
The appointment of a former union leader is expected to please Biden’s labor movement backers and will help the incoming administration in its effort to expand protections for workers.
Walsh is a past president of the Laborers’ Union Local 223, which he joined at 21. He also served as secretary-treasurer and general agent of the Boston Metropolitan District Building Trades Council, and was elected to lead the union in 2011.
“Mayor Walsh has the necessary experience, relationships, and the trust of the president-elect to help workers recover from this historic economic downturn and usher in a new era of worker power,” the source said.
Guzman currently heads California’s Office of the Small Business Advocate and helped coordinate the state’s economic recovery response amid the COVID-19 crisis.
A former senior SBA official and small business entrepreneur, Guzman grew up as the daughter of a small business owner, learning the ins and outs of entrepreneurship working in her father’s chain of veterinary hospitals, the source said.
(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Leslie Adler)