Robert Martinez, Jr. is the 14th International President since the founding of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) in 1888.
Previous to his installment as International President, Martinez served 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
Dora Cervantes became the IAM’s 12th General Secretary-Treasurer on August 1, 2015. She is the first woman to direct the IAM’s finances as General Secretary-Treasurer.
Cervantes first 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 worked in partnership with the General Secretary-Treasurer to administer the IAM’s financial operations.
Cervantes initiated into IAM Local 2198 in Houston, Texas in 1989 as a Reservations Agent for Southwest Airlines. She served in many capacities for her Local Lodge, including Organizer, Shop Steward, Recording Secretary and Vice President.
In 1999, Cervantes was chosen to serve as an Apprentice Organizer for Airline District 142, and became a General Chairperson for that District the following year. By appointment from International President Tom Buffenbarger, she served on the IAM’s 2002 Blue Ribbon Commission.
In 2005, Cervantes was appointed to the Grand Lodge staff in the Transportation Department as a Special Representative, and was later promoted to Grand Lodge Representative. It was in July of 2012 when Cervantes was selected by General Secretary-Treasurer Robert Roach, Jr. to serve as Assistant Secretary to the GST.
Cervantes currently serves as a National Board Member on the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA), is an active member of the Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW) and serves on the Women’s Committee of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) headquartered in London.
Fluent in English and Spanish, Cervantes helps teach the Spanish Leadership series at the William W. Winpisinger Education Center and the IAM/Aviation High School Partnership Program. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Labor Studies from the National Labor College.
Dave Ritchie, 40-year member of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) brings the talents of a seasoned negotiator, skilled organizer, and political activist and experienced administrator to the position of IAM Canadian Vice President.
Ritchie, former Directing Business Representative (DBR) Toronto District 78, was re-elected Canadian General Vice President in April 1997, to a four-year term and again in April 2001, 2005 and 2009. He had served in the office since December 1995 when he was appointed by the Union’s International Executive Board to fill the unexpired term of the incumbent.
As District 78 DBR from 1986 to 1995, Ritchie administered the activities of one of the largest IAM districts in Canada whose members work in the manufacturing, hospitality, and health care sectors.
Elected Business Representative in October 1978, he performed a wide variety of duties including serving as Vice President and President of District 78. He is also a founding member of the Canadian Conference of Machinists and he was Vice President of the Ontario Council of Machinists.
Ritchie joined Toronto IAM Local Lodge 1755 in 1973 when Sangamo Electric hired him where he worked as an electric meter repairperson. He is now a member of Local Lodge 235 following its merger with Local Lodge 1755 in January 1995. Immediately upon joining the IAM, Ritchie became active in his union and held numerous positions at the local level. They included Shop Steward, Chief Steward, Shop Committee Chairperson, Vice President and Negotiating Committee Chairperson.
Ritchie is the past Chairperson of the Ontario Newspaper Council of Unions. His interests in apprenticeship programs led him to membership on the Ontario Premier’s Council for Apprenticeships. He also served an as executive board member for Electronic Sectorial Skills Ontario and the position of Co-Chair of the Apprenticeship Committee Sectorial Skills.
As a member of the IAM Executive Council, Ritchie coordinates the administration of services for some 40,000 Canadian IAM members and leads the IAM’s legislative fight and organizing campaigns.
As senior officer of the IAM in Canada, he serves as a Vice President on the Executive Council of the Canadian Labour Congress. He is also Co-Chair of the Canadian IAM Labour Management Pension Fund.
Dave is an avid supporter of the Guide Dogs of America. Since 1997, through the Dave Ritchie Invitational Golf Tournament held each year in Toronto, the event has raised on average more than $30,000.00 annually for the IAM’s official charity.
Lynn D. Tucker, Jr.
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.
Tucker and his wife, Diane, live in West Chester, Ohio.
Gary R. Allen
Gary Allen was initiated into IAM Local Lodge 794 in 1979 upon his employment at the General Electric Aircraft Engine Plant in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Following his father’s example, Brother Allen involved himself in the IAM very early in his career at General Electric by being elected Area Steward in 1981. One year later he was elected First Shift Steward and by 1983 he was elected Chief Steward, overseeing the activities of all Shop Stewards on all shifts at General Electric. Brother Allen also served as Local Lodge Auditor, Labor Relations Negotiating Committee member, Organizing Committee member, and as a delegate to, then, District Lodge 183.
In 1985, at the age of 24, Allen became President and Directing Business Representative of Local Lodge 794, representing members at a variety of shops including General Electric, Greyhound, Fruehauf Trailers, and Arkansas Best Freight. He held this position until 1989, when he was appointed Special Representative for the Western Territory.
In 1991, Allen became a Grand Lodge Representative, and in 1996 he was appointed as the Territorial Organizing Leader where he coordinated the organizing activities throughout the Western Territory. Brother 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 where he coordinated collective bargaining throughout North America with aerospace companies such as General Electric, Rolls-Royce, Pratt & Whitney, Hamilton Sundstrand, and Raytheon among others.
In 2003, Allen was appointed as the Western Territory’s Administrative Assistant where he served in that capacity until 2009, when he was elected General Vice President of the Western Territory.
Since 2012, Brother Allen has represented the IAM as a trustee on the IAM National Pension Fund, the 6th largest multiemployer pension fund in the United States with approximately $8.4 billion in assets, providing over 80,000 retirees and beneficiaries with retirement security.
Since 1991, Brother Allen has served his community as an Executive Board member for the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA), becoming a Vice President of the Board in 2010.
General Vice President Gary Allen brings a broad depth and breadth of experience in numerous industries, from aerospace to automotive, as well as his endeavors in organizing, servicing, and representation.
Since his election, Brother Allen has demonstrated that our Union is stronger when Members Come First by maintaining a steadfast emphasis on “Growth through Organizing, Strength through Servicing, and Prosperity through Collective Bargaining.”
Philip J. Gruber
Philip J. Gruber has been a member of the Machinists Union since his initiation into Local Lodge 688 in 1972. It was then that he began his apprenticeship. He became a Journeyman Tool & Die Maker in 1976. He served as Steward, Chief Steward, Treasurer and President of Lodge 688. He was elected as delegate to the St. Louis Labor Council, the Missouri State Council of Machinists and the IAM National Tool & Die Conference.
In 1976, Gruber taught the Apprenticeship Program for Belleville Area College and in 1977, he taught the Apprenticeship Program for Lewis and Clark College. In 1978, he helped rewrite and update the Apprenticeship Program that is still being used today.
Gruber has served as Secretary-Treasurer, then President of the District 9/PAC and the Missouri State Council of Machinists. He also has served as Secretary-Treasurer of the Midwest States Conference of Machinists, the National Tool and Die Conference and as Chairman of the District 9 Joint Apprenticeship Committee. Gruber was a member of the National Planning Committee, the IAM 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, and the Illinois Workers Compensation Advisory Board. He has been a Delegate to every Grand Lodge Convention since 1980.
In 1984, Gruber was part of an IAM delegation that traveled 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, he was appointed the Assistant Directing Business Representative of District 9. He became the Directing Business Representative in 2003.
In 2004, Midwest Territory General Vice President James E. Brown appointed Gruber as Administrative Assistant. In 2006, Gruber succeeded Brown as the General Vice President of the Midwest Territory.
Phil and Jean currently reside in Plainfield, Illinois. They have two married daughters, one son and four grandchildren.
Sito Pantoja has served as the IAM General Vice President assigned to Transportation since January 2012. The Transportation Department operates from IAM Headquarters and administers contracts in the railroad and air transport sectors in the United States.
Pantoja initiated into IAM Local Lodge 1056 in Jamaica, New York in 1977 as an Aircraft & Powerplant Mechanic for TWA. He served as a Shop Steward for Local 1056 until he transferred to Local Lodge 949 in St. Louis, Missouri in 1988. At Local 949, Pantoja served as a Trustee and Recording Secretary; and, in 1991, as member and later Chairman of the local’s Full-Time Grievance Committee.
Appointed as a Transportation Department Special Representative in 1999 and Grand Lodge Representative shortly thereafter, Pantoja was chosen by Transportation General Vice President Robert Roach, Jr. to serve as Transportation Administrative Assistant in 2005 where he served until becoming Transportation General Vice President in 2012.
After becoming Transportation General Vice President, International President Tom Buffenbarger appointed Pantoja to as the IAM’s representative on the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Rulemaking Advisory Committee (ARAC). The ARAC provides advice and recommendations to the FAA on rulemaking activity, such as aircraft operations, airman and air agency certification and airworthiness standards.
Also in 2012, Pantoja was elected to serve on the Executive Board of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) headquartered in London, England. Pantoja has also served as Chairman of the ITF’s Civil Aviation Section Committee since 2010. The ITF is a global federation of transportation unions representing millions of transportation workers around the world.
A graduate of New York City’s Aviation High School, Pantoja also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Labor Studies from the National Labor College.
Mark Blondin has served as the General Vice President of the Southern Territory since July 1, 2013. The Southern Territory includes 14 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia as well as Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
His IAM career started in 1978 while working at an IAM-represented machine shop in Seattle, Washington. He hired on at the Boeing Company in 1979, and worked as a Toolmaker at the Renton, Washington facility. As an active member of IAM Local 751C, he held numerous Local Lodge positions through the years, including Shop Steward, Auditor, Trustee, Financial Secretary, Recording Secretary, Vice President and Delegate to the District Council. Blondin has always been a champion for workplace health and safety and served for many years on the Renton Site Safety Committee.
In 1996, Blondin was elected as a Business Representative for District Lodge 751, and in 2000 he was elected President and Directing Business Representative. In addition to serving as President and Directing Business Representative at District 751, Blondin also held the position of Secretary Treasurer of the Washington State Machinists Council. Blondin was also elected to the IAM Law Committee and served during the 2004 Grand Lodge Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio. Blondin was assigned as an IAM Aerospace Coordinator in 2007, with the primary responsibility of negotiating all agreements between the IAM and Boeing throughout the United States and Canada. He served as Chief IAM negotiator for all IAM/Boeing contracts until he joined the Executive Council in January of 2012 as General Vice President of the Aerospace Territory. On July 1, 2013, Blondin was assigned to lead the Southern Territory, covering 14 States as well as the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico with collective bargaining agreements covering nearly 100,000 workers.
Blondin assists the community as a board member and fundraiser for the Guide Dogs of America, the Salvation Army, and Victims Support Services, a non-profit advocacy group for victims of violent crimes.
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 will include coordinating and administering the activities of several IAM Departments at Headquarters and continue 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, then 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 also has responsibility 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.
Diane’s favorite charitable event is participating in the Las Vegas “Hawgs for Dogs” motorcycle event to support Guide Dogs of America.
Ms. Babineaux’s most memorable accomplishment of 2012 was completing the re-creation of the historic 1965 march from, Selma to Montgomery, AL, March 4-9, 2012. This historical re-enactment of this significant event is an occasion to share with family and friends.
MEMBERSHIPS AND ORGANIZATIONS
Diane is a current Trustee of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionist (CBTU) and serves on the CBTU Women’s Committee. She is also on the National Board of A. Philip Randolph Institute (APRI). Other memberships include:
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA)
Voter Participation Black Women’s Roundtable
Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW) and Board Member
Conference of Minority Transportation Official (COMTO)
Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA)
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
National Action Network (NAN)
National Coalition of Black Civic Participation and Board Member
National Council of Negro Women
National Democratic Club
National Urban League
Pride at Work
AWARDS and RECOGNITION
April 30, 2012-A. Philip Randolph Legacy Award, Baltimore Chapter APRI.
U.S. Senator Benjamin Cardin, Certificate of Special Recognition, A. Philip Randolph Legacy Award. April 30, 2012
U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski, A. Philip Randolph Legacy Award, April 30, 2012.
City of Baltimore, Mayor of Baltimore, April 30, 2012.
Congressional Achievement Award, U.S. House of Representatives, A. Philip Randolph Legacy Award, Congressman Elijah Cummings, April 30, 2012.
The State of Maryland Governor’s Citation, Martin O’Malley, Anthony Brown, April 30, 2012.
August 9, 2011, Distinguished Visitor Miami-Dade County Office of the Mayor and Board of County Commissioners
April 2011, APRI Seattle Chapter, Appreciation Award
January 2009, Martin Luther King, Jr., Day Service Award
October 20, 2007, NAACP Salutes Women in NAACP Prince Georges Chapter.
July 11, 2007, NAACP Benjamin L. Hooks, Keeper of the Flame Award, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People 98th Convention July 11, 2007
February 22, 2003, The District of Columbia Chapter of the CBTU Black History Month Appreciation Award “Commemorating our Spirit”
2003, A. Philip Randolph Gentle Warrior Award, The A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum.
October 19, 2002, Outstanding Labor Leaders, Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (Kentucky Chapter)
November 13, 2001, Governor of Maryland for the Kathleen Townsend Award, Parris N. Glendenning, Governor
November 13, 2001, Resolution by the City Council of Baltimore in Recognition for receiving the Kathleen Townsend Award of Excellence for Women in Government Service.
November 13, 2001, Maryland Women for Responsive Government Inc. for receiving the Kathleen Kennedy Townsend Award of Excellence for Women in Government Service.
August 14, 2001, National Black Police Association Life Membership Award.
May 27, 2001, Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, Rising Star Award, 30th National Convention
January 2000, Martin Luther King, Jr. Observance, AFL-CIO, CLC/Labor Committee
August 12, 2000, In recognition of your Service and Dedication, Women’s Recognition Dinner, Local Lodge 733.
July 1, 1997-July 1, 2000, The State of Maryland, Parris N. Glendenning, Governor to appointed and commissioned a member of Maryland Transportation.
Diane has a long history of labor union affiliation. Her father worked for Amtrak and is a retired union member of the Railway Carmen Union, and her grandmother is a retired union member of HERE. Her mother-in-law worked for John H. Swisher Company in Jacksonville, Florida, which is represented by the IAM.
Diane Babineaux is a long-time resident of the Washington, DC area. She has one daughter, Telissha and three grandchildren, Taylor, Breanna and Ava. Diane and her husband, Kenneth attend Ebenezer AME Church in Fort Washington, MD. Her main hobbies include collecting music and photography.
James Conigliaro joined the IAM Executive Council on August 1, 2015. As General Vice President, Conigliaro will work in partnership with the General Secretary-Treasurer to administer the IAM’s financial operations.
Conigliaro, the son of a union member and a native of Brooklyn, NY, began his career as a maintenance mechanic for United Parcel Service in 1977, but quickly distinguished himself as a union leader. From shop steward to organizer to business agent, Conigliaro rose through the ranks of Local 447 to become Assistant Directing Business Representative of IAM District 15, which represents members employed in automotive, trucking and a variety of other industries in New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia and Boston. In 2003, he was elected District 15 Directing Business Representative.
From his key role in organizing the 1996 “America Needs a Raise” Rally on Wall Street, to his efforts to pass New York City’s Living Wage Law, Conigliaro has led the Machinists and other unions in playing a more prominent role in city, state, and federal elections. Through his leadership, District 15 won important gains on behalf of thousands of largely immigrant black car drivers in the New York City area who had been misclassified as independent contractors.
As a result of these efforts, former New York Governor George Pataki appointed Conigliaro to the Governor’s Task Force on Independent Contractors. He also served on the Board of the New York State Black Car Workers Compensation Fund and persuaded the Board to develop a black car driver safety program. In March 2009, Conigliaro was appointed to be a member of the New York Independent Livery Driver Benefit Fund Board of Directors.
Conigliaro has served four successive terms as a Machinists Union delegate to the national AFL-CIO. He is an Executive Board Member of the NYC Central Labor Council, Vice President of the New York State AFL-CIO, and President of the New York State Council of Machinists, the local political arm of the IAM which represents some 80,000 members.
Conigliaro recently received the Annual Peggy Browning Fund Award for his lifetime success and dedication to helping working families across the United States. Conigliaro was honored in 2013 as the “Man of the Year” by the Deborah Hospital Foundation and was a 2015 recipient of the Golden Lion Award from the Order Sons of Italy in America, by the New York State Grand Lodge Foundation.
Rickey Wallace is a 35-year IAM member who initiated into Local 1296 in Clarksville, TN in 1980. He became active in his local as a shop steward and was later elected Local President. In 1995 Wallace was elected as a Business Representative in the former District 155 (now District 711) and held that position until he was appointed Assistant Directing Business Representative in 2008. In April 2009 Wallace was elected District 711 President and Directing Business Representative.
Wallace has also served as the President of the Southern States Conference of Machinists since 2009.