Thomas E. Perez, the Secretary of Labor, Has a Sense of Labor History and of Organized Labor’s Continuing Importance


This is an open letter sent by Perez to the United Auto Workers.

Brother and Sisters:

From the U.S. Department of Labor, where I proudly work in a building named for my great predecessor Frances Perkins, let me wish all of my friends in the United Auto Workers and your families–wherever you are–a safe, happy and healthy Labor Day. This Labor Day feels special in many ways: it’s the Department of Labor’s centennial, and last week we celebrated the March on Washington 50 years ago–a transformational moment in our history that was just as much about labor rights as it was about civil rights. Today, let’s remember that these two movements remain inextricably intertwined, their interests converging time and time again, their goals essentially the same.

It’s also my first Labor Day as Secretary of Labor, so I thought I’d take this opportunity to tell you a little bit about…

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