March 24, 2015
The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers [IAM] reports that District 15 President and Directing Business Representative James Conigliaro will join the General Secretary-Treasurer’s Department as the new general vice-president.
“This is a great honor and I thank the executive council for the opportunity,” Conigliaro said in response to the appointment. “My father was a longshoreman and I grew up around union halls. I learned early that working people built this country. Working families deserve their fair share of the prosperity they help create and I won’t rest until we get it.”
District 15 is one of the IAM’s largest districts with members in diverse industries including a large presence in the automotive and trucking industries. Conigliaro joined Local 447, one of District 15’s largest and most active Locals, in 1977 as a maintenance mechanic for United Parcel Service. He was active in his Local and District, and has been president and directing business representative since 2003.
International President Tom Buffenbarger said that with the addition of Conigliaro, the General Secretary-Treasurer’s Department will have “the best of the best to carry out the many tasks necessary to ensure the IAM remains one of the most financially sound unions in the labor movement.”
According to Buffenbarger, Conigliaro will have his job cut out for him because the General Secretary-Treasurer’s Department is facing an increasingly challenging financial environment.
“We had the financial meltdown in 2008, and that put more pressure on pension regulation and funding,” the international president said. “We have to comply with regulatory oversight rules on unions that are getting more complex every day. And then there’s the challenge of managing health plans amid rising costs and even more regulations.”
Nevertheless, Buffenbarger credited General Secretary-Treasurer Robert Roach, Jr., General Vice-President Dora Cervantes and the entire General Secretary-Treasurer’s staff with helping to keep IAM’s pension plan fully funded, as well as successfully maintaining its welfare plans and other finances.
“With the addition of James Conigliaro, we will be able to keep our union financially strong in the years ahead,” Buffenbarger said.