Labor or Unions

Women Leading the Labor Movement: Julie Su

Following the resignation of Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh, Julie Su became Acting Secretary of Labor on March 11, 2023. In nominating Su for Secretary of Labor, President Biden said,

“… Julie has spent her life fighting to make sure that everyone has a fair shot, that no community is overlooked, and that no worker is left behind. Over several decades, Julie has led the largest state labor department in the nation, cracked down on wage theft, fought to protect trafficked workers, increased the minimum wage, created good-paying, high-quality jobs, and established and enforced workplace safety standards.”

President Biden

Julie Su, who is of Chinese heritage and speaks Mandarin, joins Vice President Kamala Harris, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai, and Arati Prabhakar, director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, as high-ranking Asian American members of the Biden administration.

Julie Su has served as the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency secretary, California labor commissioner, and litigation director at Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles. While California labor commissioner in 2014, Su created the “Wage Theft Is a Crime” multimedia, multilingual statewide campaign to help workers understand their rights and what constitutes abuse under labor law.

In addition to her public sector work, Julie Su has taught at UCLA Law School and Northeastern Law School.

Among her honors, Julie Su has been listed as one of the “Top 75 Women Litigators” and “Top 75 Labor and Employment Lawyers”, one of the 50 most noteworthy women alumni of Harvard Law School, and one of the 100 most influential people by Los Angeles Magazine. Her work earned her a MacArthur Award.

She became deputy secretary of labor in July 2021. The nomination of Julie Su as Secretary of Labor will be coming before the Senate for confirmation. Su faces a fierce battle from those entrenched interests who oppose her work on behalf of working people.


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