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Local officers resume control of embattled Bath Iron Works union

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Local officers resume control of embattled Bath Iron Works union

BATH — The officers and members of Bath Iron Works’ largest union have resumed control of their local for the first time in nearly two years.

Local S6 President Todd McPhee said on Tuesday that the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers restored the local’s authority on Feb. 1. The parent union had imposed a trusteeship on the local in March 2008.

IAM spokesman John Carr said last month that the local could take control as early as this month or possibly next month. McPhee said the parent union was eager “to get things up and going, and they thought we were ready and wanted to let us loose.”

McPhee was elected last October along with a slate of new officers: Vice President Jay Wadleigh, Chief Steward Doug Hall, Conductor-Sentinel Rick Poulin and Secretary-Treasurer Ryan Jones.

“We have a lot of stuff that we’re trying to get under control,” McPhee said. “Finances, and a lot of policies that had never been written or discussed.”

McPhee has also said he wants to restore unity to a union that has been torn since Local S6’s officers were removed and the local was placed under trusteeship. IAM International President Thomas Buffenbarger charged at the time that there were financial improprieties and that pornography was viewed on union computers.

Former local President Mike Keenan maintains he did nothing wrong and is being penalized for disagreeing with IAM leadership.

Keenan and former Chief Steward Mike Cyr were prohibited from running for office for four years and two years, respectively. They and two other former officers sued the IAM in May 2008, claiming it deliberately took actions to suppress dissent. A federal judge dismissed the case last July.

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