Delegates Gather for 2013 IAM Transportation Conference

The 2013 IAM Transportation Conference is the first to be chaired by IAM Transportation General Vice President Sito Pantoja, right. Also pictured, left to right, IAM General Vice President Diane Babineaux, IAM General Secretary-Treasurer Robert Roach, Jr., and IAM International President Tom Buffenbarger.

The 2013 IAM Transportation Conference convened in Las Vegas, NV on the heels of the major organizing win where the IAM defeated the International Brotherhood of Teamsters in an election to represent nearly 4,600 Mechanic and Related employees at US Airways.

More than 400 delegates from the U.S. and Canada, including 157 delegates from TCU/IAM locals, took part in the four-day conference, which included speakers from across the transportation industry.

More than 400 delegates from the U.S. and Canada, including 157 delegates from TCU/IAM locals, took part in the four-day 2013 IAM Transportation Conference held in Las Vegas.

The 2013 IAM Transportation Conference is the first to be chaired by IAM Transportation General Vice President (GVP) Sito Pantoja, who brings more than three decades experience to the position formerly held by IAM General Secretary-Treasurer (GST) Robert Roach, Jr.

IAM International President Tom Buffenbarger delivered the keynote address, noting the extraordinary diversity in delegates as well as IAM leadership. Men and women of African-American, Hispanic, Anglo and American-Indian heritage, with equally diverse occupational backgrounds, now make up the newly-installed 11-member IAM Executive Council.

“How different the IAM is today from when I began,” said Buffenbarger, who noted the accomplishments the union has achieved in its 125-year history. “We’ve secured pension rights, overtime pay, seniority, health care, vacation time, safety regulations, and most important of all – respect for millions of IAM members.”

Among other speakers to address delegates were IAM Western Territory GVP Gary Allen, who welcomed delegates and their guests to the west coast, IAM Canadian GVP Dave Ritchie and TCU/IAM National President Bob Scardelletti. IAM Midwest Territory GVP Phil Gruber provided a preview of the upcoming 2016 IAM Grand Lodge Convention in Chicago. GST Roach thanked delegates for their continued support for IAM organizing campaigns in transportation and other IAM-represented sectors.