BIW union members face investigation
BATH — Suspended officers of Bath Iron Works' largest union, Local S6, faced a preliminary inquiry on Wednesday and Thursday to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to go ahead with a formal hearing into allegations they mismanaged the local.
The inquiry took place a year after the officers, including President Mike Keenan, were removed pending an investigation by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. A letter from the IAM president that day made several charges against Local S6, including financial improprieties and complaints of pornography being viewed on union computers. The union was then placed under trusteeship.
Keenan and two other officers, Mike Cyr and Cathy London, appeared before a three-member committee that will decide whether to dismiss the charges or move ahead with a union trial. IAM spokesman Carr said a fourth former officer, Troy Osgood, resigned his post, but is "still chargeable under our constitution if he in fact had knowledge and/or was culpable in any of the infractions."
Last May the four suspended officers filed a lawsuit against IAM, charging in part that actions were deliberately taken by the IAM to suppress dissent in Local S6, including placement of the union under trusteeship and removal of its principal officers.
If the lawsuit goes to federal court, Keenan said on Wednesday, "you'll see the happiest person in the state of Maine. ... Then it's all up to affidavits and testimony. And I am overly confident that there's going to be one hell of a cleansing coming."