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IAM 751’s Holden: Boeing CEO’s remarks ‘astounding and sad’

UPDATE — IAM President Tom Buffenbarger is demanding an apology from Boeing CEO Jim McNerney for his “unfunny and unnecessary remarks.”

The following is crossposted from the IAM District 751 blog:

holden-jon-iam751SEATTLE (July 25, 2013) — Jon Holden, the president of Machinists Union District Lodge 751, issued the following statement to union members in response to Boeing Co. CEO Jim McNerney’s flippant remarks about “cowering employees” during the company’s second-quarter earnings call on July 23.

“If anyone had wondered whether Boeing’s relationship with its own workers could come to a new low, it happened yesterday. Jim McNerney’s disdain and arrogance in his public comments degrade and devalue the proud Boeing Commercial Airplanes workforce, which is delivering record numbers of airplanes and record profit margins. It is astounding and sad that the leader of this company can relish forcing his employees to cower down to him, like he was some kind of third-world dictator, and it shows what he really thinks of Boeing employees — whether they’re members of the IAM, SPEEA, non-union employees or even management.

“Our members cower to no one. For generations, Boeing employees have been proud of the work they perform. They work 10- and 12-hour days, designated weekends as well, to achieve the production goals. They believe in the products they build and they ensure that the customers receive quality products. Because of this, they generate tremendous profits for Boeing.

Boeing-McNerney-champagne“These remarks are not worthy of the position McNerney is speaking from and certainly do not represent this group of amazing people who work hard every day to make Boeing successful. Making such a public statement to the world about your employees does nothing to increase productivity and demonstrates why morale is at an all-time low. It makes you wonder if the board of directors has the same contempt for the very workers that generate so much value for the board.

“Boeing employees deserve better than this.”

Originally formed in 1935 to represent hourly workers at Boeing, District Lodge 751 of the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers now represents more than 32,000 working men and women at 50 employers across Washington, Oregon and California.

To hear the audio file with McNerney’s comments, click here.

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