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Former Bath Iron Works labor leaders file new lawsuit against union

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Former Bath Iron Works labor leaders file new lawsuit against union

BATH — Four former officers of Bath Iron Works’ largest union filed a lawsuit against the parent of Local S6 on Monday in Maine Superior Court.

Michael Keenan, Troy Osgood, Michael Cyr and Cathy London claim they were slandered and defamed by International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers President R. Thomas Buffenbarger and Lynn Tucker Jr., general vice president of the grand lodge’s eastern territory.

The lawsuit is the latest development in a story that began with the removal of Local S6 officers and the establishment of a trusteeship for the local in March 2008.

While Buffenbarger levied charges of financial improprieties and pornography being viewed on union computers, Keenan, the former Local S6 president, denied any wrongdoing and said he was punished for disagreeing with IAM leadership.

Keenan and Cyr, the former chief steward, were barred from running for office for four years and two years, respectively. They, former Vice President Troy Osgood – who has resigned – and local trustee Cathy London first sued the IAM in May 2008, claiming it deliberately took actions to suppress dissent. A federal judge dismissed that case last July.

The new lawsuit was filed by attorney Guy Loranger. Attorney Leon Rosenblatt, who represented the plaintiffs in the federal court case, said he anticipates being involved in the state court case, too.

“At the close of the case, I hope justice has been achieved,” Rosenblatt said on Tuesday.

IAM spokesman John Carr said on Tuesday that “we’ve been advised that (the complaint) has been filed, but as of right now we’ve not even seen it.”

He said any further comment would be premature.

The IAM restored control on Feb. 1 to Local S6, which is now headed by President Todd McPhee. He and a slate of new officers were elected last October.

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