Labor Union Backs Herman

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Hoping to help breathe life into the nomination of Alexis Herman to be Secretary of Labor, the union representing employees at Labor Department headquarters in Washington announced its support for President Clinton's choice to head the department.

Local 12 of the American Federation of Government Employees, which represents 4,000 Labor employees in the Washington area, "wholeheartedly endorsed" Herman, whose nomination hearings are now underway in the Senate.

"The U.S. Department of Labor is in dire need of the kind of leadership that Ms. Herman is capable of bringing to the agency," Chapter President Russ Binion said in a letter to Senator James Jeffords, R-Vt., who heads the committee that is conducting Herman's hearings.

Binion commended Herman for her work as director of the Labor Department's Women's Bureau. He said Herman "demonstrated the foresight to lead the Department's negotiations with our union which resulted in an affordable, model child care center for Department of Labor employees."

Jeffords held up Herman's nomination to look into allegations surrounding her participation in controversial fundraising efforts involving the White House and the Democratic National Committee.

Yesterday, Herman got a warm reception at her first hearing, though some Republicans said her fund-raising activities would need to be discussed.

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