Jim McNerney is the CEO of Boeing Company. Headquartered in Chicago, this multinational aerospace corporation is worth roughly $105 billion. As head of one of the most well known commercial airliner companies, Boeing has spread out (some would say embedded itself) into defense, space related ventures, munitions, all sorts of rocketry and the consequential IT and software associated with all of it. He’s also a man with a union problem.
What, you may ask, does any of this have to do with climate change and the environment? Below is an article which appeared in The Hill:
Clearly, Jim McNerney feels that his OPINION that Fast Track and TPP should be passed into law is more important than what virtually every American familiar with this gift to the 1% of the 1% outside of Washington thinks. Indeed, his meddling in an already corrupt process of back room deals and favor swaps has managed to upend the efforts of countless Americans, including myself, who have collectively written thousands of letters, made endless phone calls to elected officials, and campaigned against TPP and Fast Track. McNerney also believes that what he stands to gain for Boeing (although not for the employees of Boeing, who overwhelmingly oppose TPP) is of more value than the harm it will inflict on practically every other American.
Incredibly, opposition to TPP and Fast Track Authority has united over 44 of the largest environmental groups, healthcare groups such as Doctors Without Borders and amFAR, 250 tech companies, at least 56 unions (representing over 12 million US workers), high powered legal scholars and judges who are sounding alarms that the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) tribunal which would be created and seated in Geneva to go after anyone or anything that cuts into corporate profits will usurp and hollow out the American legal system, along with too many public interest groups to list here, but which include OpenMedia, Demand Progress and Public Citizen.
Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich gives an excellent 2 1/2 minute summation about why a big multinational corporation such as Boeing would be pushing SO hard for TPP, despite the inherent harm to its own workers:
Irony alert: John Kerry recently made a visit to Washington state to stump at a Boeing plant for TPP. As noted by the Seattle Times, it may not have been his first choice venue. He was apparently advised by the Port of Seattle to go outside the city as there was also a protest in the harbor opposing Shell’s plan to drill for oil in the Arctic, another bad idea by the Obama administration.
Back to McNerney and TPP.
What does one of Boeing’s largest union groups, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, say about TPP? They unanimously oppose it, and they also oppose Fast Track Authority. This would seem to run counter to McNerney’s claims that he is pushing TPP because it’s good for Boeing. If TPP is good for Boeing, why do Boeing employees so vehemently oppose it? They SHOULD love TPP, right? They oppose it because it will continue the offshoring of US jobs. And make no mistake about it, McNerney is no friend to workers and unions. Recently, he even bragged that union members would remain “cowering” and afraid of him despite his advancing age since he had successfully moved some of their production to a non-union state (South Carolina). A comment so offensive to his workers that he had to apologize for it, but which inevitably leads to the actual reason behind his support of TPP. In addition to thinking that his ivy league education makes him so much smarter than everyone else, he clearly thinks that we are all lacking the ability to put 2 and 2 together. I’m putting $5 down on McNerney moving as much of his production and manufacturing offshore the moment the ink is dry on TPP. Sadly, the unions and the American people will have zero recourse from that point onward. No voice at all.
For circumventing the power and will of the American people, for pushing a deal that makes American sovereignty null and void, for aligning with other multinational corporations intent on polluting, drilling and poisoning an already degradated environment, for trying to rob his own employees, and by extension, the rest of the American middle class, of jobs, for hastening (in Reich’s words) our collective “race to the bottom,” Jim McNerney is a sell out who earns a place on the Wall of Shame. He embodies the absolute worst, most incestuously rotten characteristics of the greedy, selfish extreme form of capitalism, and he makes me wish I believed in both karma and hell. And according to one blogger, I’m probably being way too kind. He refers to McNerney as a “super rich, sniveling serpent beast,” and even includes a musical playlist which he feels encompasses the fetid-ness of the Boeing CEO. So I guess there is no need for karma when you have Iggy Pop dancing around shirtless accusing you of corruption.