LaborPress, a leading source for daily labor news and industry information in New York City, is honoring two of the Metal Trades Department’s executive council members at its annual leadership awards banquet on June 1, 2016. Eric Dean, International President of the Association of Bridge, Structural,Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers and Robert Martinez, Jr., International President of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, are among this year’s honorees.
Eric Dean completed his apprenticeship in 1984 and became a journeyman iron worker in Local 63 (Chicago). As an accomplished iron worker, he worked for various contractors as a journeyman, foreman and project superintendent throughout the Chicago area. From 1989 until 1995, he served as an apprentice instructor and earned the status of certified welding inspector. He became very involved in his local union serving as conductor, trustee, vice president and business agent. Recognizing his leadership skills, General President Jake West appointed him general organizer for the International in 1999, assigning him to the Department of Ornamental, Architectural and Miscellaneous Metals (DOAMM). In 2005, he was elected as president of the Chicago and Vicinity District Council of Iron Workers. General President Joseph Hunt appointed Eric Dean as general vice president in August 2008. General President Walter Wise appointed Eric Dean as general secretary effective February 1, 2011. The general executive council unanimously elected Eric Dean as general president effective July 1, 2015.
Previous to his January 2016 installment as International President, Robert Martinez had served since 2013 as IAM Headquarters General Vice President (GVP) with responsibility for the William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center and the IAM’s Government Employees and Aerospace sectors.
A United States Navy veteran, Martinez began his IAM career in 1980 as a member of Local 776A in Ft. Worth, TX after being hired as an Aircraft Assembler at Lockheed Martin’s Fort Worth Division.
From 1980 to 1994, Martinez served in various positions with his local lodge before being appointed in 1995 as a staff member in the IAM Safety and Health Department. He also served as a Project Coordinator for the Re-Employment and Safety Training (IAM CREST) and for the Center for Administering Rehabilitation and Employment Services (IAM CARES).
In addition to serving on the IAM Executive Council, Martinez sits on the executive councils of the AFL-CIO, Guide Dogs of America, the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA), the Alliance for Retired Americans, the AFL-CIO Metal Trades Council, the Elderly Housing Development and Operations Corporation (EHDOC), America’s Agenda and the Economic Policy Institute.