Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

For Immediate Release


Karl Frisch, 202-580-5813

Press Release

Watchdog: Airline Delays Secretary Buttigieg Pledges to Tackle Stem From The Industry's History of Worker Mistreatment


This week Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg pledged to take enforcement actions to protect airline consumers amid a continued surge in flight delays and cancellations – problems that are largely of the airline industry’s own making.  A recent analysis from corporate watchdog Accountable.US outlined the history of worker mistreatment of the top five U.S. airline companies’ (even as they’ve received nearly $54 billion in federal bailouts) that is now contributing to a labor shortage and subsequent consumer headaches. 

Decisions made by the major airlines to subject their workforce to low pay, long hours, and weak benefits bear much of the blame for the capacity issues they now struggle with, while some have even bragged about their profits as they have stretched their employees to the breaking point.  

“Highly compensated airline executives – including from companies that have taken billions of dollars in taxpayer bailouts and bragged of recent profits – are desperate to blame anyone but themselves for a surge of delays and cancellations that follow years of treating their workers like dispensable cogs,” said Liz Zelnick, spokesperson for Accountable.US. “Unfortunately, it’s the consumers who are now paying the price of the airline industry’s self-inflicted labor crisis – one that is a predictable result of companies prioritizing a small group of wealthy investors above all.” 


Accountable.US is a nonpartisan watchdog that exposes corruption in public life and holds government officials and corporate special interests accountable by bringing their influence and misconduct to light. In doing so, we make way for policies that advance the interests of all Americans, not just the rich and powerful. 

Historic Offshore Wind Lease Sale in California Gets Over $750 Million in Winning Bids

"If we build on today's forward momentum, the United States can dramatically reduce its global warming emissions and become a global leader in renewable energy technologies like deep-water offshore wind."

Brett Wilkins ·

Solidarity Fund Up and Running for Designer Behind Iconic Bernie Sanders Posters

Tyler Evans "has dedicated his life to the progressive movement," says the GoFundMe created for the hospitalized designer. "Now it's our time to have Tyler's back when he and his family need it most."

Jessica Corbett ·

Journalism Defenders Push for Passage of 'Game-Changing' PRESS Act

"The PRESS Act is the most important free press legislation in modern times because it would finally stop the government from spying on journalists and threatening them with arrest for doing their jobs," explained one advocate.

Brett Wilkins ·

New York Times Union Workers Planning Dec. 8 Walkout, Rally Over Pay

"Our collective action is working: Management backed off its attempt to kill our pension and agreed to expand fertility benefits," the union said of ongoing talks. "But management still barely budged on some of our most important priorities."

Jessica Corbett ·

Dems Back Blue Dog Spanberger for Swing District Post Over Progressive Cartwright

The corporate Democrat's path to victory was "pretty simple," said one progressive. "Matt Cartwright supports Medicare for All and Spanberger is a former CIA agent who spends all her time punching left."

Julia Conley ·

Common Dreams Logo