Washington, D.C., June 19, 2012 – Tom Buffenbarger, the International President of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), was elected today to serve as one of three vice presidents of IndustriALL Global Union, the newly formed union federation representing 50 million workers in 140 countries.
More than 1,000 delegates met in Copenhagen this week to choose leaders and formally establish the new federation, which will combine affiliates of former union federations and unify workers in metal, manufacturing, chemical, mining, energy and textile sectors.
“In 1893, IAM members traveled to Zurich to join with 30 other metalworkers to form the International Metalworkers Federation (IMF), one of the first global union federations,” said Buffenbarger. “Today, the IAM is present in Copenhagen with over 1,000 metal, manufacturing, chemical, mining, energy and textile workers to form IndustriAll – the largest and most powerful global union federation in the world.”
Leading the new federation will be Jyrki Raina, elected today as general secretary of IndustriALL Global Union.
“IndustriALL will fight for a new model of globalization, a new economic and social model that puts people first, based on democracy and social justice,” said Raina. “IndustriALL will challenge the power of multinational companies. We hope to negotiate on a global level with the global giants.”
Founded in 1888, the IAM is among the largest industrial trade unions in North America, representing nearly 700,000 active and retired members in the railroad, airline, aerospace, woodworking, shipbuilding and manufacturing sectors. For more information about the Machinists Union, visit our website at www.goiam.org.