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Marty Walsh is Confirmed as U.S. Labor Secretary

Former Boston Mayor Marty Walsh is confirmed as the U.S. Labor Secretary March 22, 2021.

By Michael Quinlin

Congratulations to Martin J. Walsh, who was confirmed on Monday, March 22, 2021 as the next U.S. Secretary of Labor. The U.S. Senate approved his nomination 68-29.

Walsh has been mayor of Boston since January 2014, and prior to that was Massachusetts state representative and a leader in Boston’s trade unions.

In his farewell speech, Walsh cited affordable housing, education, economic development, recovery services and racial equality as some of his most important efforts during his term in office. He offered that there was still work to be done, but that he was proud of how far the city of Boston has progressed in recent years. 

Upon recommending Walsh for the Labor post in January 2021, President-Elect Joe Biden said, “Marty understands like I do: the middle class built this country, and unions built the middle class. He sees how union workers have been holding this country together during this crisis … [including] public service workers, fighting against budget shortfalls, to keep communities afloat.” 

“Working people have been struggling for a long time, under the erosion of their rights and the deep inequalities of race, gender and class. For the last four years, they have been under assault,” Walsh said when he was nominated. “And now, we have the opportunity to put power back in the hands of working people all across this country. We can defend workers’ rights. We can strengthen collective bargaining. We can grow union membership.” 

The son of Irish immigrants, Walsh grew up in Dorchester’s Savin Hill. Both of Walsh’s parents come from Connemara in County Galway. His mother, Mary, comes from Ros Cide in Rosmuc, while his late father, John, hailed from Callowfeenish in Carna. They both emigrated to Boston in the late 1950s and met at Intercolonial Hall in Roxbury’s Dudley Square, a popular dance hall for Irish immigrants at the time.

Secretary Walsh posted the following message on his Facebook account on Tuesday morning.

As I head to Washington, DC to become Joe Biden‘s Secretary of Labor, I have a message for Boston: thank you.

Boston is more than my hometown, it’s my heart. It’s the city where my immigrant family found our American Dream, the city that helped me beat childhood cancer, and the city where I dedicated my life to public service.

Serving as your Mayor for the last seven years has been the honor of my life. I’ve seen the people of Boston – with all your compassion, creativity, and strength – carry us forward, throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

As I take on this new role for our country, please know that I will always carry with me the Boston values you taught me.

With eternal gratitude,

Marty Walsh

Read more about the newly appointed Labor Secretary, Marty Walsh by reading Mike Quinlin’s Boston’s Man of the People: Marty Walsh and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh: Irish American of the Year.

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