Labor Secretary Hilda Solis Part 2
Secretary Hilda Solis talks about accomplishments, failures, and her legacy.
- Duration 7:23
- Date Jan 16, 2013
Secretary Hilda Solis talks about accomplishments, failures, and her legacy.
Also in this playlist...
This transcript is automatically generated
We're here talking with the us secretary labor -- us Elise she's with us -- Fox News Latino we're continuing our question here you know you.
I've been long a supporter of labor rights and of unions and your time in these Department of Labor.
Has -- has been lauded as one in which you've enforce wage and hour laws you put an emphasis on battering working conditions.
You're trying to give more power to workers into unions.
What was your most important -- accomplishment and the last four years and what was your biggest disappointment.
I think what my role was was to bring about fairness in the work place.
Because we have laws I didn't create any new new laws all I did was implement the laws that we're currently on the books.
Unfortunately there were many unscrupulous or business -- business practices did not afford.
Opportunities for communities like ours immigrant communities vulnerable communities and and -- we said wait a minute.
We're going to be here to enforce a law that's what the president hired me to do.
And I was very the very adept at trying to make sure that we could have successes there we see more back wages paid to people who experienced wait staff.
And you and you and I know that it may -- in our community are not even giving appropriately.
Their wages that they are supposed to be giving even minimum wage I can't tell you that we were able to get many many millions of dollars back to well over 30300000.
Just in terms of -- -- -- that's historic for the Department of Labor but more importantly we also said to businesses we wanna work with you.
Let's try to help educate you so you could do a better job of informing your plays -- Their role is -- safety protection to minimize.
The fatalities and injuries on the job and that is equally important to so there have to be a balance I also worked on trying to get more.
Job training workforce training opportunities out there in renewable energy in construction.
In science technology those are areas and in manufacturing that we really really.
Took to heart and tried to spread it out across the country.
What was your biggest disappointment I mean everyone -- but do you have one that really you wish you know what I had more time that we do this where we've done something different.
I think that I you know for for my perspective I think that.
If I had if I had the ability to.
To really get more businesses to understand the importance of having confidence in the economy in hiring up more people.
And giving young people a break because right now we have a lot of young people coming out of college that aren't able to find jobs right now.
And we don't want them to get dissuaded those are going to be our future leaders so we need to do more to keep them engaged.
Give them mentoring -- internships.
And also allow them to come into the workforce in the federal government -- I think I did was able to demonstrate that it's -- they were possible it's there's big possibilities of doing that.
But we have to have some and also the top the leaders to -- that they're gonna make that commitment.
You are the daughter of immigrant parents from Mexico and economically you spoke he spoke of your father and your mother very highly you always do you're one of seven kids that -- -- in California.
And -- home.
You know how important were in -- rights to US labor secretary you have touched on that now but.
As well as do you specifically.
-- this would give us some issues on some things you've done this and Department of Labor to really help immigrants.
During your -- I would say that -- what we did was tried to inform the community.
Especially in a sectors where you where you find that there high rates of fatalities or injuries like the construction.
Industry in Texas they had the most fatalities.
Of Latinos so what we did with OSHA.
Was go out there and do the training also do more outreach -- also investigate and really go in and -- help provide more assistance so that we could mitigate.
Those fatalities there's no reason why that should happen.
And we should be -- Telling businesses that they also have a responsibility to help train their workers to be -- so that they don't end up having to pay.
Because there are fatal injuries or accidents on the job secretary -- is this the year for comprehensive immigration reform in your opinion.
I would hope so I think that the public spoke very loud and clear this last election.
And I think that the president understands very well who -- who.
Assisted him in his reelection 72% of -- -- population Hispanic population came out to vote.
And that the us came out it is 75%.
Rate is what I read and I'm very excited about that because -- is so much about.
The values that this administration has has decided our priorities and one that he said if he's going to try to accomplish as soon as possible.
Given the situation -- -- is immigration reform comprehensive immigration -- Will you get involved with your time now in California directly with trying to push immigration reform from California.
I will absolutely make myself available because that is something that I have been involved in for just about my entire public career even as.
Even -- someone who sat on the community College -- I knew how important was to give voice to all of our our residents whether they.
Voted for me or not and and many of the hard working people in those communities -- immigrant communities that I represented.
What we're not full citizens.
But they pay taxes they had children who were born here so my expectation was I have to you continue to forge ahead.
To allow for their children to have prosperity to have a good education good opportunities.
And that's really what the American dream is all about -- made up of immigrants it isn't it's no surprise -- all the sudden Latinos are.
Are are here and being viewed as an important segment of the population because we thank -- for centuries.
-- -- get here overnight.
And Latinos have made their voice loud and clear in this past election has clear and turn and -- in terms of turnout numbers rise and an election and elections exactly so do you think President Obama.
Has received too much criticism from the right I'm from your perspective -- looking back.
I would say yes in in many ways we did not get the kind of support we needed originally when he took office for the American Recovery Act funds.
We didn't get the votes that -- needed there and it's been a hard it's been a hard line for him because he.
Will make overtures to try to extend an olive branch to them and they seem to to turn away and even now.
As we going to these other fiscal debates there are many in in small.
Group known as the Tea Party movement that did that just do not want to engage with the president at all and really that's unfair because it not -- not just hurting.
The president because that's not the point here you're hurting the American public in our country and our economy and the future of our of our country.
Finally what do you hope your legacy to be.
-- look back can add at least in the four years here but also your entire political career when it's all said and done well I would hope that more people have optimism about.
Where -- -- -- has has come -- we've emerged and that there will be more women and women of color especially left in us who'll get involved there are many capable women.
And Latinos that are ready to serve in different capacities whether it's in corporate America or -- public private.
Partnerships -- service we are there were represented in the military -- -- -- every line every facet of life.
But we need encouragement we need people to understand that we want to be -- part.
Of the American dream and we want to also have a part of the American pie.
Well thank you so much again for being with us and again if you want more -- -- -- to go to Fox News Latino dot com in New York.
I'm Brian -- us.