The IAM is sad to learn of the passing of retired Grand Lodge Representative Timothy Connolly at the age of 88. Connolly served the IAM for 47 years, 40 of those as a Grand Lodge Representative in Transportation before his retirement in September 2009.
“Tim Connolly had an encyclopedic knowledge about the airline industry because he led workers through its turmoil for his entire career,” said Transportation General Vice President Sito Pantoja. “In the aftermath of deregulation, he pioneered the idea that airline employees should have a voice in the corporate governance of their employers, and was one of the first union representatives to serve on the Board of Directors of a major airline, TWA.”
“Brother Connolly was a great, longtime leader in the Transportation Department,” said International President Robert Martinez Jr. “I have a deep admiration and respect for everything he did for our membership and our great union. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Connolly family.”
Throughout his years of service, Connolly was widely respected for his tough negotiating and his love for the union. Connolly served the IAM in several capacities. In 1968, he was appointed a Special Representative for the Transportation Department and in 1969 elevated to a Grand Lodge Representative. Connolly played a crucial role in preventing the 1985 takeover of TWA by industry pariah Frank Lorenzo. In 1992, he helped negotiate the first groundbreaking IAM contracts for Continental and Air Micronesia Flight Attendants, securing benefits that have outlived those carriers and are still being enjoyed by Flight Attendants today.
“Tim was a friend and respected mentor to many, and would never back down from a fight,” said Pantoja. “The positive impact he had on the industry and Machinists Union members will be felt for generations.”