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CEO's who bully their employees may have become more common in this country but the ones who brag about it to the very employees they've taken advantage of are in a special class of their own. Last month Boeing CEO Jim McNerney showed his company and the world what a monumental dick he is.

lBoeing Falls Most in Dow as Tanker Cost Stirs Concern

By Julie Johnsson  Jul 23, 2014

While Boeing’s policy is for executives to retire at age 65, McNerney said he will be staying on the job and “continuing to build a succession plan.”

McNerney responded with a quip when asked about his plans after turning 65 next month. “The heart will still be beating, the employees will still be cowering, I’ll be working hard,” he said. “There’s no end in sight.”

McNerney wanted to strut for his Wall Street peers a little because they all incentivised to be very competitive when it comes to squeezing their workforce's income. McNerney has won a concessionary contract from Boeing's Machinists Union at a time when Boing profits were at all time record levels (with the duplicitous help of the now departed head of Machinists' local 751 who scheduled a contract vote at a time when he knew many members would be absent on trips to visit family over the Christmas holidays).

McNerney arrogantly insulted your workforce who are also my old workmates and my Union Brothers and Sisters. I was a Machinist at Boeing for 32 years until I retired. I take this affront personally!

Here's how the Machinists responded:


 by bryancorliss

“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.

“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.”

Then true to his dickish nature McNerney issued a non-apology trying lamely to pass it off as just a bad joke.
Boeing CEO sorry for 'cowering' workers remark

By Rami Grunbaum

In an apology sent companywide, McNerney said the comment made during a call about the company's quarterly results was a "joke gone bad."

Boeing employees and union leaders didn't find it funny.

Machinists union international President Tom Buffenbarger issued a statement Friday saying the "unfunny and unnecessary remarks" serve as a "reminder that the Jack Welch style of anti-personnel management is still alive and well at Boeing."

"If he is able to get his foot out of his mouth, the very next thing we hear from Mr. McNerney should be a sincere apology to all employees at Boeing," Buffenbarger added.

Jon Holden, president of Machinists' District 751, described it as "a new low" in employee-company relations. The union that represents engineers, the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace, posted a printable, foldable poster on their website saying, "If I'm away from my desk, then I must be cowering somewhere. Please leave a note."

Boeing spokesman John Dern said McNerney apologized before the unions called for an apology.

The CEO's message said in part: "I was simply trying to make light of my age and tenure at the company on a question that I have been asked at least a dozen times over the past several weeks alone. ... There was no intent to slight anyone but myself, and the last thing on my mind was to characterize my relationship with Boeing employees in any negative way.


More on this Titan of Greed.

America’s Greediest: The 2013 Top Ten

Posted on December 17, 2013

3/ Jim McNerney: Middle Class Manslaughter
Jim McNerneyThe U.S. manufacturing giant Boeing, analyst Harold Meyerson observed last week, has only one global rival in the large-scale passenger-plane market, the European conglomerate Airbus.
Workers at these two aerospace giants turn out to make about the same compensation. But executives at Boeing make more.
Question: Given these realities, what should Boeing do to compete more effectively? The answer from Boeing CEO Jim McNerney: Cut Boeing worker wages, benefits, and pensions!
Earlier this fall, McNerney gave his Seattle area workers an ultimatum: Either accept a contract “extension” that would leave them paying more for health care and getting less in retirement — and force new hires to work 10 extra years at substandard wages — or Boeing would go elsewhere to manufacture its new 777x passenger jetliner.
Boeing gave Washington State’s political leaders a similar ultimatum: Either fork over new subsidies and tax breaks or see your state lose jobs by the thousands. Washington lawmakers caved almost instantly. They voted Boeing the largest subsidy deal in U.S. history, over half a billion annually for the next 16 years, over double the state’s annual funding for the University of Washington.
Boeing’s workers didn’t cave. They rejected the Boeing ultimatum, and McNerney, who pulled in $27.5 million in take-home last year after $23 million the year before, is now parsing subsidy offers from half a dozen other states.
How does this story end? Maybe with the “Walmartization of aerospace.”
“This,” as Seattle author Timothy Egan puts it, “is how the middle class dies.”

When I started working for Boeing in 1979 it had a completely different culture. Then in 1996 the Simon Legree school of of Management took over in the executive suites and it became an increasingly regimented and unpleasant place to work. Employees began to be treated as interchangeable, easily replaceable and disposable production drones. Management became aggressively adversarial with its workforce, and that resulted in a series of increasingly bitter strikes. Employe morale went into the toilet.  

Decades of experience was seen as a negative when they assembled the teams to build the 787, because management wanted to destroy the old culture of employees training their peers, pejoratively characterizing it as "Tribal Culture". They wanted everything in the new plane to be top down so they could transplant the technique to right to work for less states, while outsourcing as much as the work as feasible overseas. That had disastrous results as I wrote wrote about three years ago.

Excessive outsourcing probably added 140% - 260% to Boeing's 787 launch costs

The last time I got together with my old workmates they told me that I was lucky to leave when I did, because their work environment was getting so hostile toward rank and file employees.  They seemed distressed.  

McNerney has become a symbol of what's wrong at Boeing and what's throughout what's left of America's once robust manufacturing sector.

Originally posted to Lefty Coaster on Tue Aug 12, 2014 at 11:21 PM PDT.

Also republished by Seattle & Puget Sound Kos.

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