Marty Walsh to leave Biden Cabinet for NHL union; AP sources

Walsh’s departure will make him the first Cabinet Secretary of President Joe Biden to leave.

WASHINGTON – U.S. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh is expected to leave the Biden administration to run the National Association of Hockey Players, according to two people familiar with his plans.

The Hockey Players Association is looking for a new chief executive to take over from Don Fehr, who has been at the helm for more than a decade. A spokesman for the association had no official update on the situation when it arrived on Tuesday.

A serious fan of the Boston Bruins, Walsh demonstrated his encyclopedic knowledge of the sport in videos posted online during his term as mayor of Boston from 2014 to 2021.

As labor secretary, Walsh helped broker a temporary labor agreement between the major freight rail companies and their unions, averting the risk of a strike that could disrupt segment the US economy ahead of the 2022 midterm elections. Congress then imposed a contract on unions after workers failed to ratify the deal.

An administration official said Tuesday that Walsh is expected to leave his post after President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address, as well as a second person familiar with Walsh’s plans. , who stressed that the plan is not final yet. Both men spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss departure plans.

Walsh’s departure would make him the first Biden Cabinet Secretary to leave. White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain has his final day at the White House on Wednesday. And last week, Biden announced the impending departure of Brian Deese, director of the National Economic Council.

Incoming chief of staff Jeff Zients has spent the past few months working to prepare the administration for a possible rotation as Biden hits the two-year mark in office. After two years of unusual stability in the staffing ranks, White House officials have telegraphed that additional changes could occur in the coming months as exhausted staffers seek new and replaced opportunities. replaced by energetic people — and as Biden prepares for the expected launch of his re-election campaign in the coming months.

Biden noted in a January speech to mayors that Walsh was ensuring that government construction projects were paying prevailing wages and that apprenticeship programs were delivering the skills needed. for blue-collar workers.

Walsh, 55, turned to politics after rising through the ranks of a construction union. At the age of 21, he joined Local Labor 223 and eventually became its president. He was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1997 and remained in the legislature until being elected mayor. He also served as the head of the Boston Building Trade Association.

The NHLPA began pursuing Fehr’s successor in late April, appointing a seven-player search committee and hiring a company to assist. Fehr, best known for his long career running the Major League Baseball Players Association, began working for the hockey league in December 2010 and was quickly appointed chief executive officer and director. monitor the collective bargaining negotiations in 2013 and 2020.

After emerging as a leading candidate from a group that included former Vancouver Canucks general manager Mike Gillis and NHLPA’s longtime special assistant to chief executive, Mathieu Schneider, Walsh took over at the time. NHL revenue is growing with three years left until the next election round. CBA negotiating. The league is predicting nearly $6 billion this season.

“I met Marty a few times while he was Mayor of Boston, but beyond that there was nothing to add,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said Saturday in a statement about the state of the league. at All-Star Weekend. “I will not comment on who may or may not be the next CEO. It was inappropriate and if I went too far, it could be in violation of federal labor laws. The fact of the matter is, we have a lot of respect for what the players are doing. They will go through the process of electing a new CEO as they see fit, and we will work with anyone.”

Fehr’s tenure saw NHL players take part in the 2014 Sochi Olympics before the federation was unable to reach an agreement to appoint them in 2018. The league and federation negotiated the completion of the season. 2019–20 tournament during the pandemic, extending the CBA through 2026.

The NHLPA was looking for a successor when an investigation into the Chicago Blackhawks’ handling of a report of a player being sexually assaulted by a video coach in 2010 and a subsequent interview by that player revealed raises questions about what Fehr and others knew at the time and why they didn’t act. The union conducted its own investigation and concluded that Fehr was not at fault, citing instead miscommunication and misunderstanding for lack of action. Marty Walsh to leave Biden Cabinet for NHL union; AP sources

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