President Obama announced Monday that he would nominate Thomas E. Perez, who heads the Civil Rights Division at the Justice Department, to be the next secretary of labor. The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), the largest federation of unions in the United States, applauded the nomination. "Throughout his career, Perez has fought to level the playing field and create opportunities for working people, whether in the workplace, the marketplace or the voting booth," AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka [said in a statement.](http://www.aflcio.org/Press-Room/Press-Releases/Statement-by-AFL-CIO-Pre...) "At a time when our politics tilts so heavily toward corporations and the very wealthy, our country needs leaders like Tom Perez to champion the cause of ordinary working people. And working families need and deserve a strong advocate as their Secretary of Labor -- one who will vigorously enforce job safety standards, wage laws, and anti-discrimination rules, and who will speak out forcefully for working families and their workplace rights, including their right to join together to improve their lives and working conditions. "President Obama has chosen such an advocate in Tom Perez, and we congratulate him on this nomination."