A man that dressed up as the company’s CEO at a corporate Halloween party is facing severe repercussions for his actions. According to Salon, he was suspended for four days and interrogated by his superiors about his costume.
The man, Bo Whitener, dressed as John Hammergren, CEO of pharmaceutical company McKesson. Whitener works in a Georgia distribution center for McKesson.
“It was meant to be satirical, meant to be fun. [It was] really a way to come out and say we’re here and we mean business,” Whitener says about the costume.
Higher-ups at McKesson did not view the costume in the same light. Whitener has been one of the leaders in an effort to unionize members of the distribution center at which he works, which may have sparked their concern. According to Whitener, he referenced the union efforts while giving out chocolate coins to co-workers and saying, “You’re not going to get any money here until you get a union.”
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When Whitener was interrogated by McKesson assistant director of operations Peter Maxfield, the Teamsters union with which Whitener has been working set up an audio recording of the interaction. Maxfield asks several questions about Whitener’s costume, his intent with the outfit, as well as his co-worker’s reactions. At one point even Maxfield admits he enjoyed the stunt, saying “I thought you had a pretty good costume,” but “what I’ve heard is that, you know, the costume was disrespectful, demeaning of one’s character.”
The Teamsters union filed Labor Board charges against the McKesson interrogation and ultimately had Whitener’s suspension reversed. According to the Teamseter website, the union has been protesting the corporation for several months due to their seemingly anti-union activities.