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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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News Release

ILAB News Release: [03/10/2010]
Contact Name: Gloria Della or Clarisse Young
Phone Number: (202) 693-8666 or x4651
Release Number: 10-0304-NAT

US Department of Labor official testifies before US House of Representatives foreign affairs subcommittees

WASHINGTONSandra Polaski, deputy undersecretary of labor for the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of International Labor Affairs, today testified before two subcommittees of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs on the role of labor issues and workers' rights in the Obama Administration's global agenda.

Polaski testified before the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade, and the Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights and Oversight.

"The administration is working to foster broad-based economic growth across international boundaries, including member countries of the Group of 20. Our vision is to help build a new foundation for sustained recovery of the global economy that is based on a more balanced pattern of global trade and increased respect for the rights of workers everywhere," said Polaski.

In her testimony, Polaski discussed how the Labor Department is helping to foster fair working conditions in the global marketplace by:

  • Ensuring that countries which enjoy special market access to the U.S. (approximately 140 developing countries) afford protections for the labor rights of their workers.
  • Providing technical assistance programs to help developing countries adopt sustainable policies, laws and programs that improve working conditions and labor rights, as well as protect vulnerable groups, such as children, from exploitation.
  • Partnering with the International Labor Organization to replicate the successful "Better Work" program, a model that effectively aligns the incentives available to factory owners, buyers, governments and workers to improve labor rights and livelihoods.
  • Sharing policy and learning from experiences through collaboration with other governments to exchange information on labor policies, analyze results of those policies and practices, and coordinate efforts to improve employment and the quality of jobs.

The full text of today's testimony is available on the Labor Department's Web site at http://www.dol.gov/ilab/.