US President-elect Joe Biden has nominated Irish-American Mayor of Boston Marty Walsh as his new Secretary of Labor.

Mr Walsh's parents, who emigrated to Boston in the 1950s, are from Co Galway and he has been a frequent visitor to Ireland.

Making the announcement, Mr Biden, who also has strong links to Mayo and Louth, joked that the only bad thing about him was that his parents were from Galway and not Mayo.

Marty Walsh in Connemara

He said: "For Secretary of Labor, I nominate a good friend and a stand-up guy, Marty Walsh of Boston. The son of Irish immigrants.

"The only downside they are not from Mayo, they are from Galway."

Mr Walsh would be the first union leader to head the Department of Labor in 50 years, according to the Biden statement.

He would take on such tasks as reviewing working conditions disrupted by the pandemic.


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Marty Walsh interview on RTÉ Radio 1 May 2018


Mr Biden also announced his picks for commerce secretary and small business administrator to fill his incoming economics team.

The transition named Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo and former Obama official Isabel Guzman as nominees for the other two positions.

"With two dozen cabinet nominees announced, President-elect Biden has put forward the most diverse cabinet in American history," the Biden team said in a statement.

Mr Biden had already revealed choices for part of his economic team in early December, composed mostly of women, minorities and those who had served under former president Barack Obama.

Most notable was former Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen as treasury secretary.

"They share my belief that the middle class built this country and that unions built the middle class," Mr Biden said of the group he has assembled, according to the statement.

The new officials' priority will be "digging us out from the worst jobs crisis in nearly a century by supporting small businesses, dramatically increasing union density, and rebuilding the backbone of America -- our middle class," the transition's statement said.

Last spring, the Covid-19 pandemic triggered the worst financial crisis since 1929, with millions of Americans losing their jobs or seeing their hours cut.

If her nomination is confirmed by the Senate, Ms Raimondo would take on business-government relations, handling issues such as trade wars instigated by outgoing President Donald Trump and how to regulate tech giants.