IAM Honors 75-Year Georgia Member

Seventy five year member and retired General Chairman Roy Meeks receives award from General Vice President Sito Pantoja.

IAM Lodges throughout the United States and Canada regularly present service awards to members. Service pins are awarded for each five years of membership beginning in the 15th year, and a certificate is provided for each fifth year from 25 to 50. At 50, a member is awarded a gold Lifetime Membership card.

From left, 75-year IAM member and retired General Chairman Roy Meeks, Local 625 President Jamie Crews and Local 625 Secretary-Treasurer Timmy Baxley.

But at Local 625’s 27th annual Service Award dinner, held March 26 in Waycross, GA, things were more special than in previous years. IAM Transportation General Vice President Sito Pantoja had the rare honor of presenting a special award to a retiree who has been an IAM member for a remarkable 75 years.

Roy Meeks initiated into the IAM as a railroad Machinist in 1941. He became a General Chairman in 1953, a position he held until his 1980 retirement.

“I have been an IAM member for 39 years, and have presented countless service awards to veteran members,” said Pantoja. “I have never had the privilege to present an award to a 75-year member.”

The Machinists Union stocks service award pins up to 50 years, but a 75-year membership award is so rare that a pin had to be specially engraved for Meeks. Local 625 and District 19 also made special presentations to Meeks, whose family joined him at the awards dinner.

At 95, Meeks remains active in his union. Despite not being required to pay dues, Meeks continues to pay full dues, attends the Local 625 union meeting every month and is a major contributor to MNPL.

“Roy Meeks is an inspiration and an example of the true journeyman unionist we all should strive to be,” said Pantoja.