This story was sent to me as a comment related to the McNerney stories about Jim McNerney being placed in charge of Obama’s Export Council. It was sent to me by the plaintiff, Robin Petersen, who has filed suit against Boeing. I find this very disturbing that what Mr. Peterson was subjected to could even conceivably happen. I wish Mr. Petersen well and good luck with his legal proceedings. GFS
7:10 p.m. June 2: This is real. I found the court filing here: http://dockets.justia.com/search?q=Boeing+International+Support+Systems+Company%2C+Saudi+Arabia%2C+Limited
And Mr. Petersen’s attorney’s website here: Kissandra Tysman
THE BOEING COMPANY AIDING AND ABETTING HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN SAUDI ARABIA
The Boeing Company, a U.S. company incorporated in the State of Delaware and with corporate offices in Chicago, Illinois and St. Louis, Missouri and its wholly owned subsidiary Boeing International Support Systems, Saudi Arabia (BISS) are reportedly engaged in the practice of passport confiscation, involuntary servitude, debt bondage, and fraudulent recruitment practices upon U.S. Citizens and Third Country National (TCN) workers. The Boeing Company may be held responsible for violations of U.S. Law and international law for "Aiding and Abetting" their subsidiary company, BISS which recruits employees out of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and is alleged to have confiscated passports from US Citizens and Third Country National workers in Saudi Arabia.
As reference, the U.S. State Department's 2009 report on "Human Trafficking" details the unconscionable and disturbing ongoing human rights violations that are presently taking place in the country of Saudi Arabia. A report authored by former Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, (2006) identifies Saudi Arabia as a "Tier 3" country whose government does not fully comply with the minimum standards and is not making significant efforts to eliminate human rights violations in their country. The report further states that the United States employs a "zero tolerance" policy against human trafficking both domestically and abroad. A third report by the Department of Defense, OIG dated January 15, 2010, provides information relating to "Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act," January 10, 2006 that gives the United States Government authorization to terminate grants, contracts, or cooperative agreements for "Trafficking in Persons" (TIP) related violations.
A lawsuit brought by Attorney Kissandra L. Tysman of the Tysman Law Firm, located in Mesa, Arizona was filed on May 7, 2010 in U.S. District Court, Phoenix, Arizona against "The Boeing Company" and it wholly owned subsidiary BISS. The lawsuit alleges that her client Mr. Robin Petersen, a pilot and former U.S. Navy Commander who became injured overseas while employed by Boeing/BISS was not allowed to return to the United States for medical treatment in that he had his U.S. passport confiscated; was held against his will; and was not provided with an "Exit Visa" in which to leave the country of Saudi Arabia. Mr. Petersen had made several written requests for the return of his passport to "The Boeing Company" Operations Manager, in Saudi Arabia, Mr. Shaun A. Ford, and also contacted Mr. W. James McNerney, Jr., "The Boeing Company" CEO by Federal Express letter, detailing the fraudulent activity, unethical business practices, and violations of human rights that he had observed and experienced while employed by Boeing/BISS. Mr. McNerney never responded to Mr. Petersen's concerns and request for help. The lawsuit also alleges that a number of other U.S. Veterans and Third Country National workers who were employed by Boeing/BISS in Saudi Arabia had their passports confiscated and were subject to inhumane treatment.
Mr. Petersen made several attempts to get help from the U.S. Consulate located in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. He was finally helped by a consulate security official in June 2009, who then ordered Boeing/BISS company officials to return Mr. Petersen's U.S. passport and provide him with the required "Exit Visa" in which to depart the country of Saudi Arabia. On June 8, 2009, and after six months without having the freedom to travel, Mr. Petersen was able to return to the United States to get the proper treatment he needed for his injury. The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court, Arizona, May 7, 2010 (case # 2:2010CV00999 Petersen v Boeing) and lists the following causes of action:
Count 1, Confiscation of U.S. Passports
Count 2, Violations of RICO statutes
Count 3, False imprisonment
Count 4, Breach of Contract
Count 5, Fraud
Count 6, Intentional Inflection of emotional distress
Count 7, Failure to pay wages
Although this lawsuit has been filed in the United States, it is important to know that there is an effort on the part of several worldwide organizations to hold executives of companies such as Mr. McNerney, CEO of "The Boeing Company" criminally responsible for willfully aiding and abetting their business partners who engage in human rights violations.