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DETROIT – “Last fall, Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis wrote a Labor Day message to UAW members and their families. The holiday held a special meaning to her, and she praised our members and thanked them for their commitment, talent, hard work and service to this country. She commended the UAW for its active involvement in the struggle for civil rights, better schools and pensions, tougher workplace health and safety standards, and stronger workers’ compensation benefits.
“Today, we would like to thank Hilda Solis – the first Latina to head a Cabinet-level agency – for all of those things and more in her unwavering commitment to all working Americans.
“As the daughter of a former Teamster shop steward from Mexico and a United Rubber Workers assembly worker from Nicaragua, her story was familiar. She worked hard for her accomplishments and never forgot where she came from. Her late father, she said, would sit at their kitchen table in La Puente, Calif., as she translated scribbled messages written in Spanish from his co-workers to English. ‘They are the voice of the workers,’ her father said. And it was then as a young girl that she learned about the critical need for workers to have a seat at the table to fight for social and economic justice.
“We will sorely miss Secretary Solis’s leadership, passion and energy for justice and human rights for all workers. We wish Hilda Solis well and know she will always be our ally and strong fighter for workers globally.”