President Biden late Wednesday credited acting Labor Secretary Julie Su for helping broker a tentative agreement between shippers and West Coast dockworkers, offering praise for Su amid a tense fight over her confirmation to the role.
Biden thanked Su for her involvement in talks between the parties, saying she “used her deep experience and judgment to keep the parties talking, working with them to reach an agreement after a long and sometimes acrimonious negotiation.”
“Above all I congratulate the port workers, who have served heroically through the pandemic and the countless challenges it brought, and will finally get the pay, benefits, and quality of life they deserve,” Biden said in a statement.
“Julie Su has proven herself time and time again, both as Deputy Secretary working closely with Secretary Marty Walsh — and now as a leader who helped assure that our supply chains remain strong for America’s businesses, farmers, and working families,” he added.
The dockworkers union reached a tentative agreement on a new contract Wednesday after more than a year of negotiations marked by several work disruptions.
The contract between shippers and 22,000 West Coast port workers represented by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union was set to expire July 1, raising concerns about a work stoppage that could have snarled the nation’s supply chains.
Su’s involvement comes as the Senate is weighing her nomination to serve as Labor secretary.
For months, Su and Democrats have been unable to win over the needed support from a trio of senators — Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.) — leaving her nomination in limbo and forcing the administration to look elsewhere to get her over the finish line.
Source: The Hill