BATH — A union trial committee has cleared an official with Bath Iron Work’s largest union of accusations of misconduct.

A July 2 letter from Robert Martinez Jr., the international president of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, to Local S6 President Michael Keenan confirmed all claims against Local S6 Chief Steward Raymond Gauthier had been dropped.

Keenan filed the claims, which included accusations of incompetence, negligence and insubordination, against Gauthier nearly four months ago. They were dropped after a unanimous vote by a union trial committee. Keenan appealed that decision, but Martinez denied the appeal in the July 2 letter.

Gauthier said he’s ready to “put the matter behind us.” Local S6 represents about 3,500 shipyard workers.

Keenan’s claims against Gauthier alleged that Gauthier had not attended mandatory meetings, refused to comply with directives and failed to properly review and account for lost time reimbursement for union representatives he was responsible for.

Kennan simultaneously accused Local S6 Secretary/Treasurer Jason Perry of similar claims, including failing to collect and file tax forms and closing the office early. The letter from the international union did not mention the status of the review of claims against Perry

Perry said Wednesday that he is still waiting for a decision on whether those claims will be dropped. Because of his position as secretary/treasurer, Perry’s charges had to be examined on a higher level. Gauthier’s claims were reviewed at a local level.

Perry and Gauthier have characterized Keenan’s actions as politically motivated. The two called it retribution after they turned to the national organization for help dealing with Keenan, whom they said, did not comply with direction from the national organization regarding internal operations.

Earlier this month Tony Blevins replaced former Local S6 machinist union President Jay Wadleigh, who is now at the District 4 office in Lisbon.

In the letter, Martinez wrote to Kennan, “Deputy Blevins will continue to work with you and the rest of the members at Local Lodge S6 in an attempt to peacefully resolve any issues ongoing within the local. I hope that we are able to find a common cause in doing what is best for the members.”

In March, 100 union members voted no confidence in Keenan’s leadership following Keenan’s accusations against Gauthier and Perry.

“Internally, you’ll always have conflicts, whether you’re a union or a business,” Keenan said at the time. “It happens.”

Keenan could not be reached for comment Thursday, and officials at the International Association of Machinists declined to comment regarding the dropped charges against Gauthier.

 

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