IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. has appointed Billy Barnwell, a longtime IAM activist, and officer in Georgia, as a Special Representative in the IAM Woodworkers Department. The appointment is effective February 1, 2023.
Barnwell, a 20-year IAM member, has served as President and Directing Business Representative of IAM District 131 since 2017. During his tenure, Barnwell has led negotiating committees in contract talks for members in a variety of industries, including wood, pulp, and paper.
He has also presided over several successful organizing campaigns for members across Georgia. The district’s shop steward training program, instituted by Barnwell, has brought up numerous new IAM leaders.
“Brother Barnwell knows what it takes to build union power and stand up for our membership,” said Martinez. “His knowledge and passion for our union are going to help us grow and strengthen the IAM in this critical sector.”
Since 2017, Barnwell has also served as President of the IAM Wood, Pulp, and Paper Council, helping to bring together IAM members in the sector from coast to coast. He is passionate about the cause of Guide Dogs of America/Tender Loving Canines, helping to institute a new annual BBQ fundraiser for the IAM’s favorite charity.
Barnwell was initiated into IAM Local 1034 in Macon in 2002 after being hired as a maintenance mechanic for Graphic Packaging. He has served as a Shop Steward, Local Lodge Trustee, District Delegate, Chief Steward, District Trustee, and District Organizer before leading District 131.
Barnwell holds a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in literature from Southern New Hampshire University.