Rep. Wayne Owens, D-Utah, and union officials have made up over their spat several weeks ago concerning Eastern Airlines.
Friday, Owens met with informational pickets at the Salt Lake International Airport, spoke about the need for unions and good work by union employees, and tore up a $1,000 check contributed to his re-election effort by Eastern's political action committee.When Eastern suspended most of its operations earlier this year after machinists struck the company and most pilots refused to cross the picket lines, Owens met with non-union employees of Eastern's Salt Lake City reservations center to see if he could help them. He asked local bankruptcy attorney Peter Billings Jr. to address the employees, who were fearful over their benefits during the strike.
Eddie Mayne, president of Utah's AFL-CIO, was very critical of Owens and Billings over the meeting. Mayne then opposed Billings' candidacy for state Democratic Party chairman. Owens supports Billings.
"This unfortunate incident (the argument over Eastern/Owens) is behind us," Mayne said Friday morning. "Wayne fully supports union members."