Metal Trades Department Executive Vice President and IAMAW International President Robert Martinez, Jr., announced his retirement effective January 1, 2024. IAMAW Resident General Vice President Brian Bryant will succeed Martinez as the union’s next international president.
Martinez’s historic tenure as the IAMAW’s 14th International President includes forging through some of the most challenging moments in the history of the union and the labor movement. He is the first Latino international president of a major American labor union in the history of the American labor movement, the first Latino elected to the Union’s Executive Council, and the first international president of color in the history of the IAMAW.
“I wish President Martinez a long and happy retirement,” said MTD President Jimmy Hart. “The Metal Trades Executive Council has been privileged to have President Martinez serve as a Vice President for the last eight years and we will surely miss his wise counsel and leadership.”
In a statement issued by the IAMAW, President Martinez said, “As I reflect on my incredible journey as the International President of the IAM, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the privilege and honor to serve our dedicated members across North America. The time has come to pass the torch to the next generation of leaders. It has been an honor to stand alongside our skilled and hardworking members and fight for their rights, livelihoods, and a better future for themselves and their families. As I bid farewell to this amazing chapter of my life, I feel proud of our collective work to grow our union and strengthen its foundation built on the spirit of solidarity and justice. My dedication remains steadfast, and I eagerly anticipate our great union’s continued growth and prosperity.”
“I have been fortunate to work with Vice President Brian Bryant over the years and he is more than qualified to lead the IAM into the future,” said President Hart. “I look forward to working with him as he takes the helm at the IAM and joins the Executive Council at the Metal Trades.”
The Metal Trades Department also wishes IAM Southern Territory General Vice President Rickey Wallace and IAM Midwest Territory General Vice President Steve Galloway well as they embark on retirement. “The IAM is saying farewell to a slate of immensely qualified and incredibly dedicated union leaders. Their decades of hard work and leadership will be missed but I am buoyed by the fact that the IAM has mentored, trained, and supported leaders that are ready to take on the challenge.”
The MTD congratulates Chief of Staff Craig Martin who will succeed Wallace and Special Assistant Sam Cicinelli who will succeed Galloway. Longtime aerospace negotiator and leader Jody Bennett will become the IAM Resident Vice President succeeding Bryant.