New York, NY — SMART General President Joseph Sellers, Jr. is a second-generation sheet metal worker who has risen steadily up the union ranks over the course of his more than 40 years as an industry professional and labor official.
Sellers began apprenticeship in 1980 at Local 19 in Philadelphia. He became a journeyman four years later. He was elected to the local’s Executive Board in 1994 and appointed to be Training Coordinator in 1996. In 2002, after serving as a business representative for two years, he became Local 19’s president and business manager.
In August 2009, Sellers was elected to the international leadership as 11th general vice president. The General Executive Council elected him to serve as the union’s general secretary-treasurer (GST) in July 2011, and he was unanimously re-elected as GST by delegates to the first SMART General Convention in August 2014.
Sellers became SMART’s general president May 1, 2015 and was unanimously re-elected in August of 2019.
As SMART general president and general secretary-treasurer, Sellers developed and led special campaigns to increase outreach and awareness for construction, production and transportation industries members, union industry officials and policy makers on key issues including pensions, health care, and apprenticeships. He implemented and continues to lead enhancements to the union’s information technology, professional skills training and lifelong learning curricula. Sellers has been leading the way in diversity and inclusion, navigating COVID-19 and having a progressive role in getting membership more involved and engaged. He has held several positions with the AFL-CIO and North American Building and Construction Trades Union at the national, state and local levels.
SMART, the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers, is one of North America’s most dynamic and diverse unions with 203,000 members.
SMART’s members ensure the quality of the air we breathe, promote energy efficiency, produce and provide the vital services that move products to market and passengers to their destinations. They are sheet metal workers, service technicians, bus operators, engineers, conductors, sign workers, welders, production employees and more. With members in scores of different occupations, they advocate for fairness in the workplace, excellence at work and opportunity for all working families.