Secretary Elaine Chao

 
 
 

Quantum of Solis

There is joy in Unionville this Christmas. Barack Obama’s pick for Secretary of Labor—Hilda Solis—brings impeccable big labor credentials. The California Congresswoman first rode to power with labor backing against a fellow Democrat, has voted with the AFL-CIO 97% of the time, and got three-quarters of her campaign contributions from unions.

Ms. Solis says her goal is to expand the reach and power of unions in America, and she supports such union priorities as the Employee Free Choice Act, which would do the opposite of its name and end secret balloting to unionize a workplace. Look for a showdown on that legislation in 2009. Meanwhile, the other drama to watch is whether Ms. Solis will turn a blind eye to union corruption by weakening federal oversight.

From day one of the Obama era, union leaders want the lights dimmed on how they spend their mandatory member dues. The AFL-CIO’s representative on the Obama transition team for Labor is Deborah Greenfield, and we’re told her first inspection stop was the Office of Labor-Management Standards, or OLMS, which monitors union compliance with federal law.

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