Labor secretary highlights achievements in his first year
Labor and Human Resources Secretary Gabriel Maldonado González
By THE STAR STAFF
On the first anniversary of being appointed to lead the department, Labor and Human Resources (DTRH) Secretary Gabriel Maldonado González on Sunday highlighted the agency’s main achievements for the benefit of the working class and the economic development of Puerto Rico.
He added that Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia did justice to thousands of workers, both in the public and private sectors, over the same period.
“... [O]n May 23, I came to work and promote projects that encourage labor development and improve working conditions in all sectors, this being part of the public policy of the chief executive,” Maldonado González said.
“The summary of achievements of my first year in office fills me with satisfaction, recognizing that we still have work to materialize in the agenda we have established,” he said, “always thanking the governor for the trust placed in me and my work team, which is composed of over a thousand public servants to whom I am extremely grateful.”
The labor chief also listed among the most significant achievements a series of agreements established with private and public entities and nonprofit organizations, for the impact they have in the short and long term for all sectors on the island. Those pacts stand out, he said, because they include the creation of labor market studies, the development of new skills among the population for their insertion into the workforce and the monitoring of compliance with labor laws.
Among the collaborative agreements is the “Digital Skills for Employability” project, which was realized with the multinational computer company Microsoft. The alliance will allow the training of thousands of unemployed citizens in computer and digital skills that will help them to integrate more successfully into the workforce.
Also, an alliance with the organization Women Who Lead, through which the “First Study of Working Women in Puerto Rico” was designed, resulted in an x-ray of the contemporary labor reality that will play a central role in creating and promoting new public policy aimed at diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives in the labor sector. This is in addition to an agreement with the Office of the Women’s Advocate (OPM) focused on monitoring employers’ compliance with enacting protocols to handle situations of domestic violence and cases of sexual harassment in the workplace, as well as collaborations with the PARE Committee to educate on those issues.
Similarly, during 2022 the Labor secretary established an agreement with his counterpart in the Department of Education, Eliezer Ramos Parés, through which they will design a module to integrate labor studies into the 10th-grade curriculum of the island public education system.
The DTRH also spent much of the past year actively working hand-in-hand with the governor during the evaluation and implementation of Executive Order 2022-014, which provides for an increase in the minimum wage in central government reconstruction projects and establishes the pilot program for the implementation of project labor agreements.