New Job Growth “Strong as Hell” After Investments, Says Secretary Of Transportation

Legislation
19 October 2022

In an appearance on CBS News’ face the Nation over the weekend, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg touted the Administration’s economic and pro-union policies as helping to create a job market that he described as “strong as hell.”

Buttigieg credited the Administration’s COVID-19 recovery package and infrastructure investments as helping to set the stage for more than 10 million Americans to return to work following the Pandemic. Relevant to airline workers, these policies include longer mandatory rest periods for flight attendants and $1 billion in funding to modernize aging US airports.

The Department of Transportation will also determine if the proposed merger between JetBlue and Spirit can move forward and whether or not to permit a similar partnership between JetBlue and American to proceed. That deal, called the “Northeast Alliance,” has been compared to a “De-facto merger” by the Justice Department. If approved, the partnership would allow JetBlue and American to operate as if they were a single airline in the Boston and New York markets. However, the two carriers would use different gates and aircraft.

JetBlue Ground Operations Crewmembers are currently seeking to join the Machinists Union. The 3,000 ground workers are filing with the National Mediation Board, which will oversee a vote to determine if the organizing drive is successful.

When asked by anchor Margarett Brennan if pumping $3.6 trillion in total new spending into the economy was a trigger for runaway inflation, Buttigieg responded by pointing out that the investments were also making possible historic levels of new job openings. “We would not have had the 10 million jobs created with this president with the lowest unemployment numbers in history,” he said.

“Look, I don’t think anybody could argue that our unemployment numbers are anything but strong as hell,” he said.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the US added more than 260,000 new jobs in September, pushing the unemployment rate to only 3.5%. The historic drop in unemployment is happening despite high inflation rates, lingering COVID infections, and Hurricane Ian, all of which had minimal effect on the overall economy, according to the Bureau.

Earlier this month, Secretary Buttigieg addressed the Machinists Union Convention in Las Vegas alongside Labor Secretary Marty Walsh and President Joe Biden in a video message. In the address, Buttigieg told union members that the time to end “anti union” tactics is now. “This president and this administration will always stand by the union workers who have stood by our country,” he told the hundreds of assembled Machinists Union members. “And, that means protecting and strengthening your right to organize, preventing companies from using retaliatory anti-union tactics,” he said to loud cheers.

Buttigieg also touted a multi-million dollar grant program to improve airport infrastructure and safety. The grant, part of the American Rescue Plan, will improve airport runways, taxiways, aprons, and Terminal buildings. “The president’s historic bipartisan infrastructure law creates a new generation of good union jobs,” he said. “By rebuilding our crumbling roadways, bridges, rail lines, and modernizing our airports,” he said.

In his bid to become US President in 2020, Buttigieg’s campaign staff formed a union, in part to create the precedent for other political campaigns. After organizing for a few weeks, union organizers announced the campaign had enough coworkers willing to sign Union Authorization Cards. The Buttigieg campaign then allowed the staffers to form the new union unopposed.

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New Job Growth “Strong as Hell” After Investments, Says Secretary Of Transportation

19 October, 2022

In an appearance on CBS News’ face the Nation over the weekend, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg touted the Administration’s economic and pro-union policies as helping to create a job market that he described as “strong as hell.”

Buttigieg credited the Administration’s COVID-19 recovery package and infrastructure investments as helping to set the stage for more than 10 million Americans to return to work following the Pandemic. Relevant to airline workers, these policies include longer mandatory rest periods for flight attendants and $1 billion in funding to modernize aging US airports. The Department of Transportation will also determine if the proposed merger between JetBlue and Spirit can move forward and whether or not to permit a similar partnership between JetBlue and American to proceed. That deal, called the “Northeast Alliance,” has been compared to a “De-facto merger” by the Justice Department. If approved, the partnership would allow JetBlue and American to operate as if they were a single airline in the Boston and New York markets. However, the two carriers would use different gates and aircraft.

JetBlue Ground Operations Crewmembers are currently seeking to join the Machinists Union. The 3,000 ground workers are filing with the National Mediation Board, which will oversee a vote to determine if the organizing drive is successful.

When asked by anchor Margarett Brennan if pumping $3.6 trillion in total new spending into the economy was a trigger for runaway inflation, Buttigieg responded by pointing out that the investments were also making possible historic levels of new job openings. “We would not have had the 10 million jobs created with this president with the lowest unemployment numbers in history,” he said.

“Look, I don’t think anybody could argue that our unemployment numbers are anything but strong as hell,” he said.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the US added more than 260,000 new jobs in September, pushing the unemployment rate to only 3.5%. The historic drop in unemployment is happening despite high inflation rates, lingering COVID infections, and Hurricane Ian, all of which had minimal effect on the overall economy, according to the Bureau.

Earlier this month, Secretary Buttigieg addressed the Machinists Union Convention in Las Vegas alongside Labor Secretary Marty Walsh and President Joe Biden in a video message. In the address, Buttigieg told union members that the time to end “anti union” tactics is now. “This president and this administration will always stand by the union workers who have stood by our country,” he told the hundreds of assembled Machinists Union members. “And, that means protecting and strengthening your right to organize, preventing companies from using retaliatory anti-union tactics,” he said to loud cheers.

Buttigieg also touted a multi-million dollar grant program to improve airport infrastructure and safety. The grant, part of the American Rescue Plan, will improve airport runways, taxiways, aprons, and Terminal buildings. “The president’s historic bipartisan infrastructure law creates a new generation of good union jobs,” he said. “By rebuilding our crumbling roadways, bridges, rail lines, and modernizing our airports,” he said.

In his bid to become US President in 2020, Buttigieg’s campaign staff formed a union, in part to create the precedent for other political campaigns. After organizing for a few weeks, union organizers announced the campaign had enough coworkers willing to sign Union Authorization Cards. The Buttigieg campaign then allowed the staffers to form the new union unopposed.

 

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