Breaking News, World News and Taiwan News.

Boeing CEO sorry for 'cowering' workers remark

SEATTLE--Boeing Co. CEO Jim McNerney has apologized for saying the aerospace giant's employees were “cowering” during his tenure, a comment one union official called “a new low” in the company's relationship with workers.

McNerney made the remark during a Wednesday call with analysts when he was asked if he is thinking about retiring after he turns 65 next month. McNerney said he won't retire because “the heart will still be beating, the employees will still be cowering,” The Seattle Times reported.

In an apology sent companywide on Friday, 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.” Welch, the former General Electric CEO, was known for his blunt candor as he closed factories and laid off thousands of employees in an effort to streamline the multinational conglomerate.

“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.”

Write a Comment
CAPTCHA Code Image
Type in image code
Change the code
 Receive China Post promos
 Respond to this email
DBS unveils high-interest USD and RMB plans
This June 18, 2013 photo shows Boeing Company chairman and chief executive officer Jim McNerney, in Le Bourget, France.

(AP)

Enlarge Photo

WSJA
Subscribe  |   Advertise  |   RSS Feed  |   About Us  |   Career  |   Contact Us
Sitemap  |   Top Stories  |   Taiwan  |   China  |   Business  |   Asia  |   World  |   Sports  |   Life  |   Arts & Leisure  |   Health  |   Editorial  |   Commentary
Travel  |   Movies  |   TV Listings  |   Classifieds  |   Bookstore  |   Getting Around  |   Weather  |   Guide Post  |   Student Post  |   Terms of Use  |   Sitemap
  chinapost search