In These Times has exclusively obtained a leaked internal Honeywell document outlining an anti-union strategy that includes leveraging Obama administration connections. The documents suggest that the megacorporation is deeply concerned about recent union activity at its factories and the bad press that has resulted....Well, of course, corporations have an ongoing agenda of cutting labor costs which reduce their profits, and unions often stand in their way. This point is explicitly made in slide 31 which states "30-40% cost increase off the bottom line if a union comes."
Honeywell corporation is a major "defense" contractor that feeds at the government trough. Some other typical facts about this Fortune 500 corporation are the following:
- In December 2011, the non-partisan organization Public Campaign criticized Honeywell International for spending $18.30 million on lobbying and not paying any taxes during 2008–2010, instead getting $34 million in tax rebates, despite making a profit of $4.9 billion, laying off 968 workers since 2008, and increasing executive pay by 15% to $54.2 million in 2010 for its top 5 executives. (link)
- They are a major sponsor of congressional members of both parties. (See this)
- 16 members of Congress own substantial shares of Honeywell stock including Rep. John Boehner, a leading advocate of social spending cuts. (See this, bottom of page)
- The United States Environmental Protection Agency states that no corporation has been linked to a greater number of Superfund toxic waste sites than has Honeywell. Honeywell ranks 44th in a list of U.S. corporations most responsible for air pollution, releasing more than 4.25 million kg (9.4 million pounds) of toxins per year into the air. (link)
- During and after the Vietnam Era, Honeywell's defense division produced a number of products, including cluster bombs, missile guidance systems, napalm and land mines. (link)
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.