Top Quotes from Thomas Perez

By | April 16, 2019

When we talk about the kind of folks whose lives will be made better by raising the minimum wage, we’re not talking about a couple teenagers earning extra spending money to supplement their allowance. We’re talking about providers and breadwinners. Working Americans with bills to pay and mouths to feed.

Thomas Perez

Our workforce and our entire economy are strongest when we embrace diversity to its fullest, and that means opening doors of opportunity to everyone and recognizing that the American Dream excludes no one.

Thomas Perez

Raising the minimum wage isn’t just pro-worker; it’s pro-economic growth.

Thomas Perez

On July 2, 1964, President Johnson signed into law the Civil Rights Act. Its enactment, following the longest continuous debate in the history of the U.S. Senate, enshrined into law the basic principle upon which our country was founded – that all people are created equal.

Thomas Perez

I think public sector workers, our teachers, our firefighters, our home health workers who work for states, they do God’s work. They are some of our most important employees.

Thomas Perez

The Labor Department’s Hall of Honor recognizes men and women – like Cesar Chavez, Helen Keller and the Workers of the Memphis Sanitation Strike – who have made invaluable contributions to the welfare of American workers.

Thomas Perez

The labor movement is our brother’s keeper! The labor movement is our sister’s keeper!

Thomas Perez

Post-military service can be a period of anxiety and uncertainty. So many men and women return and ask themselves: what now? The Labor Department is here to help answer that question with an array of programs designed to clear pathways into the middle class.

Thomas Perez

Employers have recognized for some time that it’s smart business to have a diverse workforce – one in which many views are represented and everyone’s talents are valued. Well, disability is part of diversity.

Thomas Perez

It stands to reason: Higher wages means higher loyalty and morale, which means higher productivity, which means a more profitable business.

Thomas Perez

Clearly, apprenticeships are a win-win: They provide workers with sturdy rungs on that ladder of opportunity and employers with the skilled workers they need to grow their businesses. And yet in America, they’ve traditionally been an undervalued and underutilized tool in our nation’s workforce development arsenal.

Thomas Perez

If you’re one car accident away from poverty, you’re on a high wire without a safety net. And that’s a challenging proposition.

Thomas Perez

Labor Day 2013 is special. This year marks the centennial of the U.S. Department of Labor – 100 years of working for America’s workers.

Thomas Perez

Raising the minimum wage to $10.10 will benefit about 28 million workers across the country. And it will help businesses, too – raising the wage will put more money in people’s pockets, which they will pump back into the economy by spending it on goods and services in their communities.

Thomas Perez

I’ve had jobs that allow me the flexibility to achieve work-life balance, to be there when one of the kids sinks a jump shot or for the parent-teacher meetings. I can move tasks around. If I don’t get something done at the office at 4:30 in the afternoon, I can go back to it at 10:00 in the evening.

Thomas Perez

To fulfill the promise of economic opportunity, we must remain true to the principle that collective bargaining is a cornerstone of a free society and indispensable to a strong middle class.

Thomas Perez

I’m proud to be Secretary of Labor. But I’m even prouder of two more important titles: dad and husband. I’ve been able to be all three. I want all working people, no matter what their jobs are, to be able to meet their obligations both at work and at home.

Thomas Perez

Mandatory arbitration clauses I think, more often than not, work to the detriment of working people.

Thomas Perez

President Obama believes that income inequality is one of the most pressing matters facing the nation. If we are going to be a country that provides ladders of opportunity and believes in a thriving middle class, then we have to raise the minimum wage.

Thomas Perez

I met a woman working 30 hours a week, trying to make ends meet, three children. And she slept the night before I met her in her car because she’s homeless. We can do better. We can build a nation of shared prosperity.

Thomas Perez

What we want to do is call attention to the fact that when workers and business work together, when you create a stakeholder model of corporate governance, where you understand that you can do well by your workers, you can do well by your shareholders and you can do well by your customers, that’s how we create a virtuous cycle.

Thomas Perez

I share the skepticism that my friends have about NAFTA. It was woefully weak in protecting workers and on the enforcement side. The question is can we meaningfully build a trade regime that has as its North Star protecting American workers and American jobs through meaningful enforcement? I think we can.

Thomas Perez

Community colleges provide higher education where people live, helping to build strong ladders of opportunity that allow people to secure a foothold in the middle class.

Thomas Perez

We are indeed a nation of immigrants. People who choose to come to America have always been one of our greatest sources of national vitality. They keep our economy strong and our communities dynamic. They are some of our greatest patriots.

Thomas Perez

Workers all too frequently have been taking it on the chin. They’re working hard and falling behind, all too frequently.

Thomas Perez

Union members not only earn higher median wages; they are more likely to have paid sick leave, short-term disability, and employer-provided child care. Giving people a voice at work – the ability to organize and negotiate for their fair share of the value they helped create – is absolutely essential to a growing, vibrant middle class.

Thomas Perez

I like to call the Department of Labor the Department of Opportunity, and that means opportunity for everyone – no matter whom you love.

Thomas Perez

Involvement in my kids’ sports teams is something I have made time for over the years. I’ve also been able to coach all three of them in baseball and basketball, something that has strengthened our bonds and given me indescribable joy. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Thomas Perez

Everything has changed in recent decades – the economy, technology, cultural attitudes, the demographics of the workforce, the role of women in society and the structure of the American family. It’s about time our laws caught up. We watch ‘Modern Family’ on television, but we’re still living by ‘Leave It To Beaver’ rules.

Thomas Perez

To realize President Obama’s vision of opportunity for all, it’s all about making the right match. The way we do that is through job-driven training – connecting ready-to-work Americans with ready to be-filled jobs. It helps more people secure a foothold in the middle class and helps businesses to profit and grow.

Thomas Perez

Full-time workers earning the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 only earn about $14,500 a year in wages – below the poverty line for a family of two. That’s unacceptable.

Thomas Perez

In the wealthiest nation on Earth, no one who works a full time job should have to live in poverty. That’s a fundamental value proposition, an article of faith in our country that I know an overwhelming majority of Americans agree on.

Thomas Perez

When we lift the wage floor, it not only betters the lives of those whose wages are directly affected, it also lifts the economy as a whole.

Thomas Perez

The typical minimum wage earner is a provider and a breadwinner – most likely a woman – responsible for paying bills, running a household and raising children.

Thomas Perez

My parents, fleeing a repressive regime in the Dominican Republic, were embraced by this country and taught us to love it in return. After my father served proudly in the U.S. Army, they settled in Buffalo, N.Y., and were able to live the American Dream.

Thomas Perez

People who work full-time in America should not have to live in poverty – simple as that. Too many jobs don’t pay enough to get by, let alone get ahead. Too many people are finding the rungs on the ladder of opportunity further and further apart.

Thomas Perez

For many people, and particularly in communities of color, the basic bargain of America – that if you work hard and play by the rules, you can share in the nation’s prosperity – has become a raw deal. That’s what President Obama’s opportunity agenda is all about – making good on our country’s half of the basic bargain.

Thomas Perez

It was a privilege to serve as the assistant attorney general for civil rights, a role that allowed me to enforce the Civil Rights Act and help make its promise a reality.

Thomas Perez

From the outset, the Obama administration has recognized that building a robust skills infrastructure means building strong partnerships with community colleges.

Thomas Perez

Apprenticeships are a particularly effective way to create career pathways with upward mobility and strong earning potential. Because apprentices receive a paycheck, it’s a great option for those with families to support, including many veterans.

Thomas Perez

I’ve heard the argument that unemployment benefits somehow act as a disincentive to the long-term unemployed when it comes to looking for work, but the opposite is true. Unemployment Insurance serves as a powerful incentive for people to keep searching for jobs, rather than drop out of the labor force altogether.

Thomas Perez

President Obama has made a minimum wage increase a focal point of his economic agenda.

Thomas Perez

When you put more money in the pockets of working families, they spend it on groceries, gas, school supplies, and other goods and services. And that helps businesses grow and create jobs. So many forward-looking employers, large and small, understand this.

Thomas Perez

On Veterans Day, I can’t help think of my uncles who volunteered for the service after fleeing a brutal regime in the Dominican Republic. They hadn’t been in America long, but they were already so grateful for its opportunities that they were eager to serve.

Thomas Perez

Protecting the rights of service members was an important part of my work as Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights.

Thomas Perez

I believe we’re making a mistake if we regard job creation and job safety as mutually exclusive or inherently in conflict; they can and they must go hand-in-hand.

Thomas Perez

Nobody who works 40 hours a week should have to live in poverty.

Thomas Perez

If the opponents of an increase in the minimum wage were correct, then every time you fly to Seattle, you’ve got to bring a bagged lunch because there shouldn’t be any restaurants because they should have all have gone out of business as a result of raising the minimum wage.

Thomas Perez

Workers are baking the pie of prosperity, but they’re not sharing in those dividends. That’s unfair.

Thomas Perez

The employers who do best are employers who reject these false choices. It’s not a zero-sum world where you either take care of your workers or you take care of your shareholders. You can do good and do well, too.

Thomas Perez

There’s a myth out there that you have to genuflect at the altar of quarterly earnings. But it’s a false choice that you can either be a good fiduciary or promote values such as environmental sustainability.

Thomas Perez

We’re building a movement. It’s undeniably a work in progress, but there’s a fundamental desire to see capitalism to do something different.

Thomas Perez

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