Fri Nov 16, 2012, 10:53 PM
Enrique (25,096 posts)
In leaked docs, Honeywell cites Obama ties as key to ant-Union strategy
The third section, on Government Relations (GR), reveals Honeywell's hopes that its influence with the Obama administration can be leveraged to help combat union activity. Slide 18 of the confidential document states that Honeywell (HON) should “continue to grow positive relationships with elected officials, with federal agencies, focusing on local branches." These relationships, the document explains, "can be directed at union activity, if needed.” The plan suggests that Honeywell's Government Relations division can be used to “break up union cohesion across the country.” A picture of President Obama speaking at a Honeywell plant is included (see above), with a caption reading “HON has great relationships with Federal officials, focus is needed at the State and local levels."
Indeed, President Obama and Honeywell CEO Dave E. Cote have a very close relationship. Cote visited with Obama at the White House this past Wednesday to push him to cut budget spending. Cote is considered one of Obama’s closest allies in the business community. In January of 2009, Cote introduced Obama’s stimulus package in a White House speech. Cote was subsequently appointed by Obama to serve on the Deficit Commission. President Obama even flew with Cote to India while a lockout at Honeywell's Metropolis, Ill. uranium plant was ongoing. Cote returned the favor by giving heavily to the Democratic Party. In the 2010 election cycle when the Met, Honeywell was the top corporate PAC contributor to the Democratic Party.
Union activists believe that Honeywell’s federal ties have already enabled the company to call in government help when suppressing unions. In 2009, Honeywell threatened to use Marines to replace 500 United Steelworkers members in Blount Island, Fla. if the military contractors went out on strike. Honeywell had the military security clearances pulled on several of the union leaders, leading them to lose their jobs. In 2010, I exposed evidence that Honeywell cheated on qualification tests for scab replacement workers during the lockout at its Metropolis uranium facility; during the lag between my report and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission taking action, the scab replacement workers caused a number of accidents. In 2011, International Association of Machinists Lodge 778, employed as nuclear weapons workers at Honeywell’s Kansas City, accused the Department of Energy of abandoning its legal mandate by not stepping into to stop a concessionary contract Honeywell was pushing on the union. (Note: I have written over two dozen articles on this issue since 2009; for more details on the federal government enabling Honeywell anti-union strategy, see my November 2011 piece, “Is the Federal Government Helping to Bust Unions?”)
The recent leaked documents raises serious questions about whether Honeywell benefited from its relationships with the Obama administration as part of its anti-union maneuvers. The White House did not respond to request for comment.
5 replies, 977 views
Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
In leaked docs, Honeywell cites Obama ties as key to ant-Union strategy (Original post)
Response to Enrique (Original post)
Fri Nov 16, 2012, 11:20 PM
mick063 (2,424 posts)
3. This is very devious by the author.
The power point presentation is more than likely referencing ALEC. Did you get the part under the President's picture that says "focus is needed at the state and local levels"? This is direct reference to ALEC.
I despise posts that unknowingly drag our President through the mud. Anyone with a clue can see right through it.
Response to mick063 (Reply #3)
Fri Nov 16, 2012, 11:27 PM
Enrique (25,096 posts)
4. In these times has been absolutely excellent on Honeywell
maybe you would prefer the Network TV News, which reports glowingly on David Cote while utterly ignoring the labor issues at Honeywell:
For example ABC News:
Worse still, the lack of coverage of the Metropolis plant lockout is not for lack of access to Cote. Cote appeared on ABC's This Week with Christiane Amanpour to talk about the economy, this past Sunday. Honeywell workers contacted the producers of This Week and asked them to raise questions about what many in the labor movement consider to be its highest profile ongoing labor dispute.
However, Amanpour ignored these requests and refused to ask Cote about what is taking place in the high-profile lock out at Honeywell in Metropolis, Illinois. In fact, Tim Fernholz of The American Prospect lamented that the mainstream media did not so much as bat an eye at an explosion at the uranium enrichment facility caused by poorly trained workers.
There was a time in America when journalists regularly covered symbolic labor struggles like the one at Honeywell that were going on beneath the public's radar, and in turn, generated pressure on our elected officials to improve the conditions of workers. But these days, the media is more eager to please the corporate elite of this country than report on the struggles of regular Americans.