R. Thomas Buffenbarger
International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers
R. Thomas Buffenbarger is the 13th International President in the 121 year history of the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers (IAM).
First elected in 1997, Tom Buffenbarger leads over 700,000 active and retired IAM members in Canada and the United States. One of the largest industrial and transportation unions in North America, the IAM represents men and women who build, maintain and operate the machines and systems that defend North America and sustain the prosperity both nations have enjoyed.
IAM members build America’s F-22, F-18 and F-16 fighters at Boeing and Lockheed Martin, Aegis destroyers at Bath Iron Works, Bradley Fighting Vehicles at FMC Corp.
They service US Airways and United planes, Union Pacific, Burlington Northern Santa Fe, and Amtrak trains, UPS trucks and Ford, GM and Chrysler automotive products. In the last five years, the IAM has successfully negotiated collective bargaining agreements with over 5,000 employers.
Under Tom Buffenbarger’s leadership, the IAM continues to grow and diversify to include physicians, nurses and caregivers at VA hospitals, limousine drivers in New York City, loggers in Oregon, tobacco workers in Virginia and forest service employees across the U.S.
As its International President, Tom Buffenbarger serves on the Board of Directors of the Guide Dogs of American, a charity founded by an IAM member to serve the visually impaired, and the Machinists Non-Partisan Political League, the twelfth largest political action committee in the nation.
Tom Buffenbarger is also a member of the AFL-CIO Executive Council and the Union Sportsman’s Alliance, an affiliate of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership.
He also serves on the St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital Public Advisory Board and as a member of the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America.
His duties as IAM International President span the globe. He serves as the Vice president of the International Metalworkers’ Federation representing more than 25 million workers in more than 100 countries and as president of its Aerospace Department.
Tom Buffenbarger also serves as chairman of the Labor Advisory Committee to the U.S. Trade Representative.
President Buffenbarger, a journeyman tool and die maker at GE’s jet engine facility in Evendale, Ohio, has been a machinist for more than 39 years. The son of an IAM member, he was the youngest International President in IAM history when he took the helm at age 46. Mr. Buffenbarger and his wife Linda reside in Brookeville, Maryland.