While the rail unions were ready to strike in an effort to make their voices heard, Secretary of transportation Pete Buttigieg was nowhere near the U.S . It’s clear Buttigieg was aware of the impending industrial action, which begs the question: why would he prioritize personal relaxation when American workers have been dealing with stagnating wages and deteriorating working conditions?
Questions quickly arose surrounding the appropriateness of his actions while many called his decision selfish, especially given how months of discussions were left on the table while he was away. His stay there fueled an already precarious situation and caused further tension within contract negotiations. These are the kinds of leaders democrats pick. Those who prioritize their own interests over the needs of their constituents and their duties.
According to the Washington Free Beacon. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg called in from Porto, Portugal, a posh tourist destination known for its wine production, as rail contract negotiations entered a crisis in September.
Buttigieg jetted off to Portugal on Aug. 29, a week before Amtrak began canceling long-distance trips because of a possible strike. According to a spokesperson for the Department of Transportation, Buttigieg “remained available and engaged” while in Europe over Labor Day weekend.
That weekend, The Hill reported that an imminent nationwide freight rail strike threatened to cripple the U.S. economy just before the holiday shopping season and midterm elections in November. If railroads were not able to negotiate a new contract, roughly 115,000 rail workers would have walked off the job by Sept. 16.
Fortunately, that was the first day workers could legally strike after a White House-appointed panel released a collective bargaining recommendation.
It was extremely inappropriate for the transportation secretary to be on vacation with such a crisis looming, but what made a difference was how he handled himself.
According to Buttigieg’s spokeswoman, he returned to the States on Sept. 5, when rail worker unions began planning a strike that would have been devastating to the economy.
Though President Joe Biden tapped Buttigieg as one of the administration’s leaders for negotiations, the ambitious politician appeared more concerned with campaigning and fundraising for Democratic candidates in the lead-up to the midterm elections than with securing benefits for the unions.
A Fox News report claims that it is unclear how Buttigieg traveled to Portugal, but in the 2 years since he assumed his position as Secretary of Transportation, Buttigieg has taken 18 private flights.
The action of the leadership team has caused quite a stir. A real leader would have known the right thing to do and taken it without compromising their integrity. Postponing the trip until business was done and the railroad workers’ contracts were handled would have avoided a lot of commotion, yet that option was not considered. Instead, an attempt to cover up the situation was made, further adding fuel to the moral outrage that people felt because they were deprived of the truth. In instances like this one, honesty is more valued than any conceivable benefit from deception. Those instances are what truly show a person’s true colors.
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