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U.S. Passport Confiscation in Saudi Arabia

Reader comment on item: The Scandal of U.S.-Saudi Relations
in response to reader comment: confiscation of US passports in Saudi Arabia by American companies

Submitted by Robin Petersen (United States), Oct 3, 2009 at 00:54

Although I wrote the Boeing CEO the following letter about his companies Ethical Violations, U.S. Passport Confiscation and what amounts to Human Rights Violations, Mr. McNerney never bothered to write back. I think the American public needs to know what Boeing is up to in Saudi Arabia.

The Boeing Company

Mr. W. James McNerney, Jr., CEO

100 N. Riverside MC 5003-6010

Chicago, IL 60606-1596

June 2, 2009

Subj: Ethics Violations

Dear Mr. McNerney:

I am a United States Citizen who hired on with Boeing International Support Systems, (BISS) in January of 2009 for the position of Flight / Simulator Instructor in support of the Lockheed C-130 program in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. As the President of the Boeing Company, you need to be made aware that Boeing International Support Systems management is engaged in the following practices that can only be described as unprofessional, unethical and possibly in violation of US and International law for the prevention of one's liberty and freedom to move or travel. (Human Trafficking) Although, I provided this information to your ethics committee at ethicsline.ethics@boeing.com and followed that e-mail up with a phone call in early April of this year, your ethics committee never responded.

The following is a list of unethical business practices that I have personally observed. These practices can be confirmed by at least ten (10) other past or present Boeing employees. (Please find attached a list of employees who have witnessed this wrongdoing)

· detaining employees who wished to terminate employment

· failing to provide Iqamas, (in some cases over a year)

· allowing employee's entry visas to expire without renewal

· not providing exit visas when requested

· not paying salaries on time

· not paying reimbursable expenses

· not paying sign on bonuses

· misrepresenting living conditions during the interview process

· confiscating passports from US Citizens and Third World Nationals upon arrival in country

· failing to return United States Passports when requested

· failing to provide clean or sanitary living or working conditions

· threatening employees with retaliation for trying to address these problems

In my particular case and on March 9, 2009 and after I tried to address some of these issues via the chain of command with no success, I submitted a fifteen (15) day advanced notice of resignation. I requested that the company return my US Passport and provide me an "Exit Visa" so that I could terminate employment with Boeing. The company did not return my passport and in fact prevented me from leaving, effectively holding me against my will on their compound for five days. It was during this time that I suffered a injury to my leg. The injury was serious enough that it required immediate attention and ultimately surgery. Once management was aware of the injury, and after a lengthy delay, (three weeks) doctors confirmed a torn Achilles tendon in my left leg. I asked them, that I be allowed to have the required surgery in the United States. I did so because I felt I would have a better selection of doctors, diagnostic skills and more state of the art surgical procedures back in the United States. The company denied my request to have this surgery performed in the United States, in fact claiming that the company's medical insurance policy was not valid in the United States. (all new hires were issued medical cards indicating medical insurance coverage was valid in the US)

Although the company was well aware of my injury, no one in management made any accommodations for me prior to or following my surgery or to check on my wellbeing. If it had not been for fellow employees and Third World Nationals, (Ethiopians & Pakistanis ) who showed a genuine concerned for me who knows what would have happened to me during the five weeks that I was laid up on the third story apartment (no elevator) at the Mohammedya compound. Further, my contract, referencing "5.13, Sick Leave" states that a Boeing employee is entitled to full pay up to thirty (30) days and subsequent to the thirty (30) days, the employee shall be entitled to further sick leave for up to sixty (60) days at three quartes (3/4) pay in any one anniversary year period. The company has not paid me and this constitutes breach of contract.

I have to say that I have never encountered such irresponsibility, incompetence, and shear disregard for the safety and wellbeing of my fellow human beings, as I have with this company who claims to be a subsidiary of Boeing.

Those employees listed below have been shorted pay, denied expense reimbursement, denied promised bonus money or as in my case completely denied pay altogether. Again, I believe that Boeing International Support Systems/Alsalam Aircraft Company is in breach of our employment contracts for reasons that I have mention in this letter. As such, I would hope that you will see to it that the list of employees enclosed herein who came to work for the Boeing Company in good faith are paid the balance of their contracts for what has amounted to breach of contract. I am sorry to have to bring this matter to your attention, but it requires action by of those at the highest level. I look forward to hearing from you within ten (10) days from the date of this letter.

Sincerely,

Robin P. Petersen

Boeing Employee #B02389

Enclosures: Photo of Injury

List of Boeing Employees

Cc: The Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton, United States Secretary of State

Via United States Consulate Officer Cindy Elkhatib, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Name

E-mail

Terry Vipperman

Terryv@windowlive.com

Robert Brown

Rjbrown76@msn.com

Oscar Ortega

Oortega12003@yahoo.com

Johnny Carroll

Havoc77@aol.com

Tom Naugle

naugenter@hotmail.com

Skip Bunner

Skip_bunner@yahoo.com

Darrell Edwards

Dledwards1@yahoo.com

Victor Cook

Victorlcook25@hotmail.com

Joe Bianchino

Joebianchino@verizon.net

Gary McGlinchy

gmcglinchy@yahoo.com

Willie Hunter

Hunterwille@yahoo.com

Submitting....

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