Interviewed by: Philip Laporte; December 13, 2010
Transcript info: 101 Pages (1 Digital Copy- audio only)
Accession No: L2010-05
Michael Flynn, born in 1954, began his union career directly out of high school working as a ground crew helper for Eastern Airlines at the Washington National Airport in 1972. A year later he was hired as a shop laborer in Miami, Florida. He gained mechanic status and was very active in his Local Lodge 702. He relocated to Atlanta, Georgia and became president of the Atlanta Air Transport Lodge 1690 in 1986; shortly after, his service ended following the 19-month Eastern Airlines strike beginning in 1989. Flynn then moved on to work at the Grand Lodge with IAM CARES in 1991. Since 1996, Flynn has worked with Occupational Safety & Health and IAM CREST. Currently he serves as director of the IAM Safety and Health department.
Mr. Flynn discusses his entry into the union and how he learned about the inner workings of local lodges to prepare him into his eventual entry as president of the Atlanta Lodge 1690. He also discusses the view of mechanics compared to other classifications such as store clerks, baggage handlers and shop laborers. He also talks about how his experience in many classifications helped him to be more relatable. He speaks about Frank Lorenzo’s takeover of Eastern Airlines and the strike that followed in 1989. He talks extensively on how he dealt with Lorenzo taking over and how the strike and shut down of Eastern affected machinists in Atlanta. He then ends with how he got into the Occupational Safety & Health department.
Unions Represented: International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, Atlanta Air Transport Lodge 1690, IAM CARES, IAM CREST