Two months after the IAM International placed District Lodge 70 into “trusteeship” and took over its day-to-day operations, the International has confirmed that it has met with officials from the FBI and the Department of Labor over the matter.
IAM District officers have been accused of “serious financial mismanagement,” including “mass overspending” and failure to obtain “proper approval for Lodge expenses.” Following a union meeting after the trusteeship was announced in February, an IAM member told the local press “They are three and a half million dollars in arrears. Nobody has any information where the money is, why it was spent, how it was spent.”
In the meantime, the former District Lodge President and Business Representative have been fired by the IAM but have, in turn, filed lawsuits against the District, the IAM, and a number of officers, including International President Robert Martinez. These individuals allege wrongful termination, breach of contract, and defamation. The lawsuits state that while the IAM and the District have “specific procedures to follow in terminating an employee,” those procedures were not followed. The former District Lodge officers deny any wrongdoing.
District Lodge 70 represents 8,000 Machinists in Wichita, Kansas, including employees of Bombardier Learjet and Spirit AeroSystems.