Buffenbarger Talks Retirement, New IAM Leadership


IAM International President Tom Buffenbarger announced current General Vice President Bob Martinez will finish his term as the IAM’s chief officer. The appointment is effective January 1, 2016.
IAM International President Tom Buffenbarger announced current General Vice President Bob Martinez will finish his term as the IAM’s chief officer. The appointment is effective January 1, 2016.

During his most recent conversation with host Ed Ferenc on America’s Work Force Radio, IAM International President Tom Buffenbarger talked about his upcoming retirement, incoming IAM President Bob Martinez and the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

With less than a month remaining as president of the IAM, Buffenbarger made his regular call to Ferenc’s show and took the time to tell listeners about the experience and skills the new international president will bring to the IAM.

“Bob has been a representative of our union from almost the day he stepped into the plant in Fort Worth,” said Buffenbarger. “So coming on board is a guy who is very well-rounded, very experienced, and I think I can say from the reactions we’ve been getting, they are as excited for Bob as I am.”

To listen to the entire radio show, click here.

Buffenbarger, who turns 65 in December, explained the union’s constitutional requirement that he step down at the end of the year.

“Bob fills the remainder of my term and, in 2017, the IAM exercises its election cycle,” said Buffenbarger. “We are elected by general referendum of the membership. Every member has an opportunity to participate in the election of the officers of our union, and that’s been the case since day one of the Machinists. And we are very proud that the members of our union still get the final say.”

Buffenbarger is the 13th president in the IAM’s history and has served in that position longer than anyone else.

“For an old union, only 13 of us, now soon to be 14,” said Buffenbarger. “It says a lot about the stability of the Machinists. It says volumes about the great support we get from our members.”

He also explained that after he retires he will continue the fight for North American working families by working to elect Hillary Cinton for president, repeal the so-called “Cadillac” excise tax on health plans and defeat the anti-worker Trans-Pacific Partnership.

WATCH: The IAM Announces the New International President