This past summer, the IUPAT General Executive Board elected a new Executive Board of leadership. Jimmy Williams, Jr. is our new General President – and the youngest president of any building trades union in the United States to date. The new era of presidency came alongside the succession of Gregg Smith as the new General Secretary-Treasurer; Paul Canning and Mike Gutierrez as the Vice Presidents at Large; and Mark Van Zevern, Robert Kucheran, and William D. Candelori, Jr. as General Vice Presidents.
Congratulations to General President Ken Rigmaiden and General Secretary-Treasurer George Galis, who retired from their roles officially on August 31, and left big shoes for our newly-elected leaders to fill.
General President Williams has always held our union’s values close and has succeeded exceptionally in his international organizing efforts. He is committed to recruiting new members and organizing new workplaces, and strives to uplift those workers’ voices and show solidarity in his efforts. Brother Williams’s experience in organizing, even in his young age, holds great promise to continue Brother Rigmaiden’s legacy and expand our collective power across the country. His talk of organizing “from within” leads us to be confident that he will maintain our prominent position as a leading figure in national labor reform and make decisions with the interest of workers in mind.
Additionally, Gregg Smith, our incoming General Secretary-Treasurer, is a 4th- generation painter and 29-year member of the IUPAT. Similar to President Williams, Brother Smith attained his first position of leadership as a Business Agent for District Council 58/LU 32 in 1997. There, he sat on numerous trust funds and labor-management funds. Brother Smith holds the proud title of being the longest serving BM/ST in our union.
At IUPAT 57, we are not only congratulating the recent retirees on their achievements and thanking them for all that they have done, but we are now looking forward to working with the new General President and the rest of the new board. It’s safe to say that our new electeds represent what we all strive to be as Union members and as members of the labor movement. We stand by them in solidarity, and look forward to what we will achieve together for workers all over the country in these newfound positions of leadership.
We are proud to be a part of a generation of workers that future IUPAT brothers and sisters will be proud of. It is our hope that our 140,000 members, and all working people, will create a historic chapter full of growth, political activism, aggressive organizing, and continued steadfast commitment to building union power in the year ahead.