Providing the many services that keep the IAM a leader among North American trade unions requires the coordinated efforts of many people at all levels of the union. The International President, with the assistance of the General Vice President of Headquarters and the Executive Assistant, administers more than 15 departments at IAM Headquarters that provide crucial services to support the union’s mission to better the lives of IAM members and working families throughout North America.
R. Thomas Buffenbarger
The son of an IAM member, Tom Buffenbarger assumed his first IAM leadership post in 1970, at age 20, when he was elected steward of his apprenticeship group at the General Electric jet engine group, IAM LL912,
Seven years later, Tom Buffenbarger was elected as a Business Representative for IAM District 34,
Buffenbarger came to IAM Headquarters in 1986 to work in the IAM Organizing Department and two years later, was appointed Executive Assistant to the International President. He served in that position under International Presidents William Winpisinger and George Kourpias.
From 1991 to 1997 Buffenbarger served as IAM General Vice President at Headquarters, functioning as chief of staff of all Headquarters operations. He was elected to the office of International President in 1997. Born Dec., 1950. Tom and his wife, Linda, have two children.
Welcome to the Western Territory! The 13 states of the Western Region comprise the largest geographical territory in the IAM, excluding Canada, spanning over 1.8 million square miles, and containing 9 of the 10 largest geographic states in the U.S. The terrain varies as much as the diverse population we represent. From Mt. McKinley to the Great Divide, the tropics of Hawaii to the Grand Canyon, from the Puget Sound to the Columbia River Gorge to the glitz of Las Vegas and the eighth largest economy in the world in California, the Western Territory has something for everyone.
Led by General Vice President Gary Allen, we believe that we are the most culturally diverse territory in the Machinists Union. Our members include large numbers of Pacific Islanders, Native Americans, Eskimos, Hispanics, Asians, Middle-Easterners, as well as African-American and Caucasian populations and more. This diversity affords our territory a tremendous wealth of experience and backgrounds.
The industries we represent vary from aerospace to automotive repair, city employees to police, fabrication workers and assemblers of semi-trucks to the people that haul them and the food production workers that help sustain us all.
Members in the Western Territory, like many in the IAM, proudly serve both our great Union and our communities, taking on projects such as highway clean-ups, building wheelchair ramps, serving food to the elderly and supporting the cause of Guide Dogs of America.
Again, welcome. We're glad you're here.