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New officers to take reins at embattled BIW union

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New officers to take reins at embattled BIW union

BATH — A new slate of officers of Bath Iron Works’ largest union is expected to take total control of the local’s operations.

John Carr, spokesman for the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, the parent union of BIW’s Local S6, said last week that the new officers were elected last October.

While the parent union maintains control of Local S6, it is in the process of returning authority to the officers and members of the local, Carr said.

“That is imminent,” he said. “It could happen as early as February, but it is a process, so it could drag into March. But every intent is by February.”

Todd McPhee, the new Local S6 president, serves on the Woolwich Board of Selectmen and the Two Bridges Regional Jail Authority. He served as financial secretary and trustee of Local S6 more than 20 years ago and said Tuesday that he hopes to be a pacifier.

“I hope that we can just try to get along on our side of the fence,” McPhee said. “That’s a big thing, is trying to have everybody over here working together in one direction.”

Other than providing services to the local when needed, day-to-day operation will be restored to the local, Carr said, for the first time in about two years.

In March 2008, Local S6’s officers, including President Mike Keenan, were removed and the local was placed under trusteeship. IAM International President Thomas Buffenbarger charged there were financial improprieties and pornography was viewed on union computers.

Keenan has maintained he did nothing wrong and is being punished for disagreeing with IAM leadership.

Keenan and former Chief Steward Mike Cyr were barred from running for office for four years and two years, respectively, their attorney said last August. Leon Rosenblatt represents both men, as well as former Vice President Troy Osgood, who has resigned, and local trustee Cathy London.

The four officers sued the IAM in May 2008, claiming it deliberately took actions to suppress dissent. A federal judge dismissed the case last July.

Besides McPhee, Carr said the new officers at Local S6 include Jay Wadleigh, vice president; Doug Hall, chief steward; Rick Poulin, conductor-sentinel, and Ryan Jones, secretary-treasurer.

Alex Lear can be reached at 373-9060 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net.