Bob Martinez, Jr., officially became the 14th International President in the IAM’s 127-year history after taking his oath of office at IAM Headquarters in Upper Marlboro, MD. Martinez takes over for former International President Tom Buffenbarger, who retires after more than 18 years as the IAM’s top officer.
|AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka looks on as Bob Martinez, Jr. is sworn in as the IAM’s new International President. (Photo by Kaveh Sardari / Page One Photography)|
Martinez will serve the remainder of Buffenbarger’s current four-year term, which concludes July 1, 2017. Former Southern Territory Special Representative Rickey Wallace was sworn in to take Martinez’s place as Headquarters General Vice President. Click here for photos of the ceremony.
“I am mindful that I stand on the shoulders of giants,” said Martinez, who was surrounded by Buffenbarger, former IAM International President George Kourpias, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and members of the IAM Executive Council.
Martinez thanked his predecessors, pledged to safeguard the interests of the IAM members and vowed to make the tough decisions necessary to propel the IAM into a future that promises to see a continuation of attacks on working people.
“Our greatness and potential as an organization arises from our membership,” said Martinez, a Texas native and 35-year IAM member who served in the U.S. Navy. “I will never forget that, nor where I came from.”
“We live and work in an incredibly difficult and challenging time,” continued Martinez. “From every corner, we and the work we do are under fire. The challenges we confront and real and they are substantial. However, I am confident about our future and our ability to do good work and make a positive difference in the lives of our members and working people across the United States and Canada.”
Buffenbarger made his mark on the IAM by committing to organizing, financial stability and making the IAM’s leadership team one of the most diverse in the labor movement. He steps down as the longest-serving International President in IAM history.
“I have been humbled to serve this great union,” said Buffenbarger. “The reason we’re here today is because the members of this union enabled us with the gift of leadership. This Executive Council takes that gift very seriously.”
AFL-CIO President Trumka was on hand to welcome Martinez into his new role.
“The leadership of the IAM is more needed now than it has been in decades because of the relentless and well-financed attacks on working people every single day,” said Trumka. “We need your leadership and we look forward to working with you and supporting you.”
Union brother Gordon Elmer Johnston passed away December 30, 2015. Gordon was hired at Champion/Volvo and joined IAM&AW LL 1863, now LL 1975 on April 27, 1970, and retired July 29, 1988. Gordon worked in the Fabrication Department at the plant.
Cremation has taken place and there will be a Celebration of Life in the spring. His family received a Bible from the LL 1863 Retirees Club.
IAMAW District 78 Executive and Staff would like to extend our Best Wishes for the Holiday Season.
The office will be closed on December 24, 2015 and will reopen on January 4, 2016.
Please remember, If you Drink, Don’t Drive.
On behalf of IAM District 78, DL78 Rep.Brother Jim Snider recognizes the hard work and dedication of Brother Rob North as he Retires. Brother North has worked tirelessly for the members of District 78 over the last number of years.Brother North was instrumental in the organizing of OPT/Spectrum Patient Transfer Group and later served as chairperson for OPT/Spectrum before becoming a District Rep./Organizer.
Canadians Must Respond to Humanitarian Crises
December 10 is celebrated around the world as International Human Rights Day to mark the anniversary of the United Nations’ adoption and proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. This historic document is heralded for setting out fundamental human rights that would be universally protected and which set a common standard of achievement for all peoples and nations.
This year, international Human Rights celebrations are set against the backdrop of the humanitarian crisis in Syria and the Middle East. This catastrophe has blurred the boundaries of every international border; challenged every nation; and summoned the compassion of every citizen to re-evaluate our collective role in promoting peace and human rights around the globe. However, it impossible for Canada to examine its international humanitarian obligations without critical self-reflection about ongoing humanitarian crisis in Aboriginal communities within its borders. Continue reading
District 78 Retirees club held their annual Christmas dinner, guests included retirees from the GTA and surrounding areas, Goderich and Kingston. A great time was had by all. The event, as always, was put together through the hard work of Pauline Pegnam. Music and games were provided courtesy of Colin Cherry.
November 5, 2015
(Toronto) Ontario unions and local union activists have put forward a team of three principled, determined and experienced trade unionists to run for the election at the upcoming convention of the Ontario Federation of Labour. The team is running under the banner of FedForward, with the goal of uniting the labour movement in Ontario and advocating for progressive labour law reform.
The Ontario Federation of Labour Convention will be held November 22-27 at the Sheraton Centre, downtown Toronto.
Chris Buckley is a long-time trade unionist, social justice advocate and former President of Unifor Local 222 in Oshawa, a large amalgamated local union. During his time as a rank and file leader, Chris was also the chair of the General Motors master bargaining committee and led negotiations with GM in four rounds of talks. Chris is running to be the president of the Ontario Federation of Labour.
“I believe we owe it to working people, whether they belong to a union or not, to have strong representation at the provincial level,” said Chris Buckley. “I know what it is to take on challenges and to win – I will bring this determination to the job.”
Patty Coates is an educational assistant, a passionate activist and the President of the Educational Assistant Bargaining Unit of OSSTF District 17 Simcoe, representing educational assistants and early childhood educators. Patty is also the President of the Barrie and District Labour Council. Patty is running for the position of Secretary-Treasurer.
“With Prime Minister Harper now gone, I believe we have tremendous opportunities to make changes that will improve the lives of working people and their families. We can only do this by working together,” said Patty Coates.
IAM Canadian General Vice-President Dave Ritchie and 120 other Canadian labour leaders met with new Canadian Prime minister, Justin Trudeau as part of the Canadian Labour Congress’ Canadian Council, a democratically elected group that governs the CLC between its national conventions.
Ritchie met briefly with Trudeau to talk about, among other things, investment in an industry ignored by the previous Conservative government. The conversation is on the heels of a $1 billion investment by the Québec government, which has now become Bombardier’s partner in the production of the C-Series jet.
Ritchie believes he received a positive response as the Prime Minister indicated that Canada’s new Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains, is already looking into the file. “I am optimistic that the government will do the right thing for all these workers and invest in the Canadian aerospace industry,” said Ritchie.