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International Association of Machinists

(IAM)

9000 Machinists Place
Upper Marlboro, Maryland 20772-2687

 

Membership

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720,000 active and retired members can be found in all 50 states in the U.S. and 10 provinces and three territories of Canada.

 

Affiliations

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AFL-CIO

Building and Woodworkers International

 

 

Structure

icon_structureThe International President, with the assistance of the General Vice President of Headquarters and the Executive Assistant, administers more than 15 departments at IAM Headquarters. Headquarters combines administrative functions with recently merged or affiliated districts and lodges.

IAM is organized into seven territories. Geography defines five of those territories. Transportation covers a series of related industries. The territories include:

  • Eastern
  • Midwest
  • Southern
  • Western
  • Headquarters
  • Transportation
  • Aerospace
  • Canada

 

Industries

  • Aerospace
  • Automotive
  • Government Employees
  • Transportation
  • Woodworkers

 

Key Officers*

iam_thomas_buffenbargerR. Thomas Buffenbarger, International President

R. Thomas Buffenbarger is the 13th International President since the founding of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) in 1888.  The son of an IAM member, Tom Buffenbarger assumed his first IAM leadership post in 1970, at age 20, when he was elected Shop Steward of his apprenticeship group at General Electric Jet Engines, IAM LL912, Evendale, Ohio.

Seven years later, Tom Buffenbarger was elected as a Business Representative for IAM District 34, Cincinnati. In 1980 he was appointed as an IAM Special Representative for the Great Lakes Territory and three years later became Administrative Assistant to the General Vice President for that territory.  Buffenbarger came to IAM Headquarters in 1986 to work in the IAM Organizing Department and two years later was appointed Executive Assistant to the International President. He served in that position under International Presidents William Winpisinger and George Kourpias.

From 1991 to 1997 Buffenbarger served as IAM General Vice President at Headquarters, functioning as chief of staff of all Headquarters operations.

As International President, Buffenbarger is a member of the AFL-CIO Executive Council and serves on IndustriALL’s Executive Committee as Vice President.  IndustriALL is an international trade union bringing together the mining, energy and manufacturing sectors.

 

iam_bobmartinezBob Martinez, Jr., General Vice President, Elected July 2013

Bob Martinez, Jr. currently serves as IAM Headquarters General Vice President (GVP) with responsibility for IAM Headquarters and the William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center. The Headquarters GVP also has jurisdiction for the IAM’s Government Employees and Aerospace sectors.

A United States Navy veteran, Martinez began his IAM career in 1980 as a member of Local 776A in Ft. Worth, TX after being hired as an Aircraft Assembler at Lockheed Martin’s Fort Worth Division.

From 1980 to 1994, Martinez served in various positions with his local lodge before being appointed in 1995 as a staff member in the IAM Safety and Health Department. He also served as a Project Coordinator for the Re-Employment and Safety Training (IAM CREST) and for the Center for Administering Rehabilitation and Employment Services (IAM CARES).

In 1999, International President Tom Buffenbarger assigned Martinez to serve as the Southern Territory Education Representative with responsibility for training and education for IAM members in 14 southern states. In April 2002, he was appointed as a Special Representative and served in that capacity until joining the Executive Council in 2003 as the General Vice President assigned to the Southern Territory.

In addition to serving on the IAM Executive Council, Martinez is on the Board of Directors for Guide Dogs of America (GDA), serves as a Trustee on the Board of the IAM National Pension Fund and is a National Vice President on the National Executive Board of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA).

Vice President Martinez was recently honored with Guide Dogs of America’s highest honor, the Gift of Sight Award and the Cesar Chavez Award from LCLAA for his work on behalf of the Latino Labor Community.

 

iam_dianebabineauxDiane Babineaux, General Vice President, Elected July 2013

Diane Babineaux joined the IAM Executive Council on July 1, 2013 as the first African-American woman to serve as a General Vice President. She has served as the Chief of Staff, formerly Executive Assistant, to the International President since 2000.

Her assigned duties as General Vice President include coordinating and administering the activities of several IAM Departments at Headquarters and promoting the IAM’s mission to expand Women’s and Human Rights. Mrs. Babineaux started her career at the IAM in the MNPL/Political Department. Later she moved to the Research Department where she worked in virtually every position. Diane became Special Assistant to the International President and was later appointed Executive Assistant.

Many of her duties include assisting the International President by researching economic and political trends and communicating the impact on working families. She is also responsible for expense management and budgetary controls. In addition, Diane manages and directs the Human Rights department, Women’s Department and the Young Machinist Program. Diane works closely with the international trade union secretariats (IndustriALL) with which the IAM is affiliated.

Diane was instrumental in holding the inaugural IAM Human Rights Conference in Orlando, FL and the first Young Machinists Symposium in Toronto, Canada. Ms. Babineaux is an active member of the Labor, Human Rights and African-American Communities. She is on the IAM’s Board of Directors for Guide Dogs of America. She is a former Maryland Transportation Commissioner.

* On August 15, 2013, the Department of Labor entered into a voluntary compliance agreement with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), regarding the 2013 election of the union’s international officers.  The IAM “agreed to conduct new nominations and a new election, if necessary, for the offices of international president, general secretary-treasurer and eight general vice presidents under OLMS supervision prior to June 2014.”

 

Green Contacts

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Bruce Olsson is an Assistant Director of Legislative and Political Action. He was listed as a contributor in the Green Manufacturing Action Plan for the Apollo Alliance in 2008.

 

Sustainability Profile

icon_greenprofileThe International Association of Machinists has largely kept quiet about climate change and other green issues. Like most unions it welcomed Obama’s stimulus package and its green jobs provisions. For example, the IAM supported the American Renewable Energy Jobs Act that included a requirement for renewable energy projects to “buy American.” However, the IAM’s current legislative agenda does not incorporate any climate change or green jobs related issues, nor does the IAM’s website* list “emissions reduction” in its goals section.

Part of IAM’s silence is a legacy of the union’s deep roots in traditional industries such as the defense industry. President Tom Buffenbarger presents himself as a business unionist looking out for the interests of his members. A significant portion of those members works in the aerospace, airlines, and traditional manufacturing industries. The IAM website’s “legislative action center” encourages members to tell Congress not to cut defense. It warns of the “deficit hawks in Washington [that] are pressing for 301 fewer F-35 Joint Strike Fighters.” This language and political standpoint fail to take into account the vulnerable nature of defense industry jobs in addition to the notable issues with the Fighter Jet.  A highly publicized study by economists at the University of Massachusetts determined that education and transportation are among the fields that generate substantially more jobs per dollar spent than does the defense industry.

It bears mention that the military and its contractors have been encouraged to undergo a significant “greening” in the last few years.  There has been a loud call for contractors to specifically create new “green technologies” that reduce energy usage. However, this new wave of greening may not necessarily correlate to greater job creation in the industry.

Like all manufacturing unions, the IAM has seen its industrial base shrink as jobs have been automated or gone abroad. The union is therefore pushing for a “pro-manufacturing” agenda that includes standards applied to what the union terms “America’s next economic craze, ‘green energy’,” but the union has not provided details on the standards. IAM also had a contributor on the Apollo Green Manufacturing Action Plan, a fall 2008 project of the Apollo Alliance that brought together representatives from academia, industry, labor, and environmental groups to develop strategies for rebuilding domestic manufacturing for the growing clean energy economy.

The machinists have pushed plans for the high-speed rail provisions included in the stimulus package, which they see as a potential source of new employment, and they have used some green arguments to promote new rail systems. But, the limited discussion of green manufacturing jobs is curious as the union represents workers in a range of industries that produce energy efficient products for heating and air conditioning and energy efficient distribution systems for buildings.

The one exception to the IAM’s reticence falls within its Woodworkers Department. This department represents forestry and woodworkers.  The department was formed after the merger of the US section of the International Woodworkers Association in 1994. The union has a contentious record with environmentalists with whom they fought a bitter fight over logging in the Northwest in the 1980s and early 1990s, but the IAM now promotes forests and forest preservation as a key component of climate change mitigation. This position shift has opened new possibilities for dialog with environmentalists and others.

Additionally, the IAM is affiliated with the Building and Woodworkers International (BWI), headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. BWI consists of unions from the building and woodworkers industry, with a membership of over 11 million from 270 unions from 124 countries, including North America unions, Steelworkers (representing Canadian wood and US paper workers), Sheet metal Workers, Ironworkers, LUNA and Teamsters.

The IAM is represented on the BWI World Council, and the Forestry Sub Committee. The BWI states, “forests, if sustainably managed, can make a major contribution to the mitigation of climate change and contribute to greater social advances and equality. To be sustainable, forests must be managed so that they are economically, environmentally and socially sustainable.”

* It should be noted that the IAM website is quite outdated. For example, the most recent legislative priorities date back to 2010.

Green Employment Prospects

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Serious efforts to combat climate change will include changes in the transportation and logistics industries that will have major impacts—both positive and negative—on employment in key industries. Unions like IAM representing transportation workers in trucking, rail, ports, busses, mass transit, and airlines will have to address these changes. The 2008 spike in fuel prices provided a harbinger of the kind of changes that could occur. Airlines and trucking companies cut back; rail traffic and mass transit ridership increased; logistics industries sought new efficiencies in an economy increasingly dependent on complex global and national supply chains.

Appendixes

Appendix 1: Executive Council

R. Thomas Buffenbarger, International President

R. Thomas Buffenbarger is the 13th International President since the founding of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) in 1888.

The son of an IAM member, Tom Buffenbarger assumed his first IAM leadership post in 1970, at age 20, when he was elected Shop Steward of his apprenticeship group at General Electric Jet Engines, IAM LL912, Evendale, Ohio. (see above for full bio)

 

Robert Roach Jr., General Secretary-Treasurer

Robert Roach, Jr., is the 11th General Secretary-Treasurer since the founding of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) in 1888. Roach started in the IAM as a ramp serviceman for TWA in 1975 and was a member of Local Lodge 1056 in New York. Soon after, he transferred to Local Lodge 1445 in Newark, NJ.

He was elected as a Shop Steward in 1976 and served as Grievance Committee Chairman from 1979 through 1992. Roach also held other union positions in Local Lodge 1445, including Trustee, Vice President and President. In 1984, he was elected District Lodge 142 Trustee and also served as coordinator for the District’s Human Rights Committee. Roach became a District 142 General Chairman in 1992.

In 1994, Roach was appointed Transportation Department Special Representative and was appointed a Grand Lodge Representative (GLR) in 1996. From GLR, Roach became General Vice President (GVP) of the Transportation Department on June 1, 1999, and was re-elected in 2001, 2005 and 2009.

As Transportation GVP, Roach regularly testified before Congress on aviation matters including aircraft maintenance oversight, aviation safety and security, bankruptcy reform, employee pensions, industry consolidation and the state of the airline industry. He served as a member of the International Transport Workers’ Federation Executive Board and Management Committees for over 12 years.

Roach has also served as a member of the Executive Committee of the AFL-CIO’s Transportation Trades Department, an Executive Board member of the AFL-CIO’s Maritime Trades Department and Trustee to the IAM National Pension Fund.

On January 1, 2012, he was appointed IAM General Secretary-Treasurer.  As General Secretary-Treasurer, Roach is responsible for directing the finances of the International Union. He serves as Co-Chairperson of the IAM National Pension Fund and the IAM Health and Benefit Trust Fund.

General Secretary-Treasurer Roach currently serves as a member of the board for the Union Label & Service Trades Department, the AFL-CIO Union Veterans Leadership Council, Union Privilege, and is a Labor Advisory Board Member of American Income Life.

He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Labor and Management Relations from the Empire State Labor College and is a graduate of the Labor Studies and Arbitration and Essentials of Conflict Resolution programs at the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations.

Dave Ritchie, General Vice President of Canada

Dave Ritchie became IAM General Vice President for Canada in 1995. As a member of the Executive Council, he coordinates the administration of services for more than 40,000 Canadian members of the IAM, oversees the organizing of new members in Canada and ensures that the Canadian Parliament in Ottawa is aware of and responsive to the needs of the IAM membership.

Ritchie joined IAM Local Lodge 1755, Toronto, in 1973 after being hired as an electric meter repairman at Sangamo Electric. He subsequently held a variety of positions at the local lodge level, including: Shop Steward; Chief Steward; Shop Committee Chairperson; Vice President and Negotiating Committee Chair. He also served as Vice President of the Ontario Provincial Council of Machinists and was a founding member of the Canadian Machinists Council.

In 1978, he was elected as a Business Representative of IAM District 78, Toronto, one of the largest IAM districts in Canada. Nine years later, in 1986, Brother Ritchie was elected Directing Business Representative of District 78 and held that post until joining the Executive Council two years ago. He has served as Chairperson of the Ontario Newspaper Council of Unions; a member of the Ontario Premier’s Council for Apprenticeships; executive board member of the Electronic Sectorial Skills, Ontario and Co-Chair of the Apprenticeship Committee, Sectoral Skills.

Ritchie is a member of IAM Local Lodge 235, Toronto.

Lynn Tucker, General Vice President of the Eastern Territory

Lynn Tucker began his career with the Machinists Union in 1976 working for Miller Brewery in Fulton, New York. He has held a variety of elected offices in the IAM including Shop Steward, Senior Steward, Local Lodge Vice President, President, and Vice President of the New York State Council of Machinists. Lynn was active and served in the Oswego, New York Labor Council and the Greater Syracuse, New York Labor Council. He also served as Director of the United Way in Fulton, New York, and was President of the Industrial Relations Research Association, Central New York Chapter, Syracuse, New York, and was an active member of CLUW and the NAACP.

In 1986, Lynn Tucker was elected to serve as Business Representative in District Lodge 137, Watertown, New York. Then in 1989, Lynn was appointed Special Representative for the Eastern Territory and in 1991 advanced to the position of Grand Lodge Representative. In 1992, then General Vice President George J. Poulin selected Representative Tucker to serve as his Administrative Assistant. After Vice President Poulin’s retirement in 1997, newly elected General Vice President Warren Mart selected him to continue as the Administrative Assistant of the Eastern Territory.

Elected as a General Vice President August 1, 2003, Brother Tucker is assigned to direct IAM programs and activities in the union’s Eastern Territory, headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Robert Martinez Jr., General Vice President of the Southern Territory

Bob Martinez joined the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers in 1980 with Local Lodge 776A, Aeronautical Industrial District Lodge 776 in Fort Worth, Texas as an Aircraft Assembler. He served on many committees and in various positions with his local lodge throughout his employment at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Fort Worth Division.

In 1994, Brother Martinez was assigned to the International Chemical Workers Union Center for Worker Safety and Health Education in Cincinnati, Ohio to serve as the liaison to this Federal Consortium of Education. He was assigned in 1995 to serve in the Safety and Health Department. He also served as a Project Coordinator for the Corporation for Re-Employment and Safety Training (IAM CREST) and for the Center for Administering Rehabilitation and Employment Services (IAM CARES).

In 1999, with the addition of the Territorial Education Representatives, Brother Martinez was assigned by International President Tom Buffenbarger to serve as the Education Representative of the Southern Territory on General Vice President George Hooper’s Staff in Dallas, Texas.  In April 2002, Brother Martinez was re-assigned as a Special Representative and served in that capacity until assuming the office of General Vice President of the Southern Territory in July 2003.

Philip J. Gruber, General Vice President of the Midwest Territory

Philip Gruber has been a member of the Machinists Union since his initiation into Local Lodge 688 in October 1972. He became a Journeyman Tool & Die Maker in the spring of 1976. He served as Steward, Chief Steward, Treasurer and the President of Lodge 688. He was elected as delegate to the St. Louis Labor Council, Missouri State Council of Machinists and Tool & Die Conference.

In 1976 he taught the Apprenticeship Program for Belleville Area College, and in 1977, he taught the Apprenticeship Program for Lewis and Clark College. In 1978, Gruber helped rewrite and update the Apprenticeship Program still being used today.

He served as Secretary-Treasurer, then President of the District 9/PAC and Missouri State Council of Machinists, Secretary-Treasurer of the Midwest States Conference of Machinists and National Tool and Die Conference. He also served as Chairman of District 9 Joint Apprenticeship Committee. He was a member of the National Planning Committee, the IAMAW Law Committee, the Board of Directors of United Way of St. Louis, and still serves on the Board of Directors for Guide Dogs of America. Brother Gruber has been a Delegate to every Grand Lodge Convention since 1980.

In 1984, he was selected by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers to travel to Japan to study and compare the culture of the Asian workforce and their labor organizations to the American system.

In 1987, Gruber joined the staff of District Lodge 9 in St. Louis, Missouri as a Business Representative. In 1996, was appointed to the position of Assistant Directing Business Representative, and subsequently became the Directing Business Representative on January 1, 2003.

On January 1, 2004, was appointed Administrative Assistant to Midwest Territory General Vice President James E. Brown, and on July 1, 2006 succeeded GVP Brown as the General Vice President of the Midwest Territory.

Gary R. Allen, General Vice President of the Western Territory

Gary R. Allen is the General Vice President assigned to the Western Territory. The Western Territory includes thirteen states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

Allen, a native of New Mexico, initiated into IAM Local Lodge 794 in 1979 when he was hired at the General Electric Aircraft Engine Plant, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Following his father’s example, Allen involved himself in the IAM early on. He was elected as an IAM Area Steward in 1981. One year later, he was elected First Shift Steward, responsible for handling grievances and directing the activities of all stewards on first shift. The following year he was elected Chief Steward, overseeing the activities of all shop stewards on all shifts.

Allen also served as a Local Lodge Auditor, a member of the Labor Relations Negotiating Committee, the Organizing Committee and as a delegate to then District Lodge 183, the AFL-CIO and IAM Grand Lodge Conventions.

In 1985, Allen became one of the youngest-ever elected President and Directing Business Representatives of Local Lodge 794, representing IAM members at shops including General Electric, Greyhound, Fruehauf Trailers and Arkansas Best Freight. He held both positions until 1989, when he was appointed a Special Representative for the IAM’s Western Territory. He became a Grand Lodge Representative in 1991 and in 1996 was appointed the Overall Coordinator for Organizing for the Western Territory.

Allen moved to IAM Headquarters in 1997 as a Coordinator for Collective Bargaining and later that year was appointed Aerospace Coordinator in the newly-formed IAM Aerospace Department. In 2003, General Vice President Lee Pearson selected Allen to serve as the Western Territory’s Administrative Assistant.

Sito Pantoja, Chairman of the International Transport Workers’ Federation’s Civil Aviation Section

Sito Pantoja initiated into IAM Local Lodge 1056 in Jamaica, NY in 1977 as an Aircraft & Powerplant Mechanic. He served as a shop steward at Local 1056 until he transferred to Local Lodge 949 in St. Louis in 1988. He served Local 949 as Trustee and Recording Secretary and has been a full-time IAM Representative since his 1991 election as member and later Chairman of the local’s Full-Time Grievance Committee.

Sito Pantoja was appointed Grand Lodge Special Representative in 1999 and GLR shortly thereafter. He was selected Administrative Assistant to GVP Roach in 2005. Sito was elected Chairman of the International Transport Workers’ Federation’s Civil Aviation Section in 2010.

Mark Blondin, General Vice President of the Aerospace Territory

Mark Blondin’s IAM career started in 1978 while working at an IAM-represented machine shop in Seattle, WA. He hired on at the Boeing Company in 1979 and worked in the tooling department at the Renton, Washington plant. As a member of IAM Local 751C, Blondin held numerous Local Lodge positions and in 1996 was elected Business Representative for District Lodge 751. He was elected President and Directing Business Representative of District Lodge 751 in 2000.

Blondin was elected to the IAM Law Committee and served during the 2004 Grand Lodge Convention.

In 2007 Blondin was assigned as the IAM Overall Boeing Aerospace Coordinator and held that position until January of 2012 when he was appointed by International President Buffenbarger to the position of General Vice President of the Aerospace Territory.

Diane Babineaux, General Vice President

Diane Babineaux joined the IAM Executive Council on July 1, 2013 as the first African-American woman to serve as a General Vice President. She has served as the Chief of Staff, formerly Executive Assistant, to the International President since 2000.

Dora Cervantes, General Vice President

Dora Cervantes joined the IAM Executive Council on July 1, 2013 as the first Hispanic woman to serve as a General Vice President. Cervantes has served as the Assistant Secretary to the General Secretary-Treasurer since 2012. As General Vice President, Cervantes will work in partnership with the General Secretary-Treasurer to administer the IAM’s financial operations.

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