Connecticut IAM Icon Jim Parent Retires


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Commemorating a long career at Pratt & Whitney that included more than 30 years as a full-time IAM representative, IAM President Tom Buffenbarger presents retiring District 26 Assistant DBR Jim Parent with a replica of a CFM56 jet engine from rival engine builder General Electric. Buffenbarger, a former GE Tool and Die maker, quipped the GE engine was “highly coveted by every P & W employee.”

After a long career of leadership and commitment to Connecticut workers, Jim Parent stepped down from the position of Assistant Directing Business Representative of IAM District 26, a role that included serving as chief negotiator for IAM-represented UTC workers at Pratt & Whitney, Hamilton Sundstrand and United Technologies Corporation (UTC) Power.

Parent led major battles in which IAM-represented workers squared off against UTC.  These included a decade of upheaval at Pratt & Whitney, with a successful strike in 2001 that gained ground-breaking Job Security language, two stunning court victories stopping Pratt from moving work out of state, and a two-year struggle that saw the closure of the Cheshire plant, but with every displaced worker being assigned to jobs in Pratt’s East Hartford or Middletown plants.

Parent, who began work at Pratt in 1970, was first elected as a full-time IAM rep in 1981.  In addition to his position as Assistant DBR, Parent served as President of the CT State Council of Machinists, Vice President of the CT AFL-CIO, member of the CT Employment & Training Commission, and Unemployment Appeals Review Board, along with numerous other positions.

Taking over for Parent is District 26 Business Representative Mike Stone, who has been active in the IAM for twenty-five years. Stone will also assume the role as chief union negotiator for IAM-represented workers at UTC.