Features, Labor News Briefs, Law and Politics, National

Labor Secretary’s Chief of Staff Ousted

May 21, 2019

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

WASHINGTON—Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta’s chief of staff, Nick Geale, will be forced out of office by May 31, the result of complaints about him bullying subordinates and the Trump administration’s desire for harsher treatment of unions. A Department of Labor spokesperson confirmed May 14 that Geale was quitting. Administration sources told Axios and Politico that Geale’s behavior was the main reason they wanted him fired. “Nick came into my office screaming and yelling and throwing papers on my desk,” one former official told Politico. “He’s abusive, he’s abrasive, he tries to be intimidating, he’s condescending.” But others said he was a scapegoat for White House frustration that Acosta has not been aggressively anti-union enough. “The pace of change has not been sufficient,” a source close to Trump told Axios. “[Acosta] tends to be fairly fearful of taking hardline positions. He tends to be solicitous of the unions, often making the argument that that’s what the president wants.” A Labor Department spokesperson said Geale had played an important role in the department implementing Trump’s priorities, including rolling back Obama-era regulations on overtime pay and joint-employer standards. Read more

May 21, 2019

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