IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. has announced the appointment of long-time IAM staff member, organizer and leader Ralph Martin as IAM Canadian Chief of Staff to General Vice President David Chartrand. The appointment is effective Jan. 2, 2024.
“I’m thrilled to welcome Ralph into this new role serving our membership in Canada,” said Chartrand. “Ralph understands what it means to organize new members and represent current ones, and we’re excited for what we’re going to accomplish together.”
Martin, a 34-year member, initiated into IAM Local 863 in Burlington, Ontario in January 1990 while working at Ball Packaging Products as a maintenance mechanic. He immediately became actively involved in the Local Lodge and was elected as a shop steward later that same year.
“Ralph has always been on the cutting edge of growing and strengthening our union,” said Martinez. “Under the leadership of General Vice President Chartrand, I’m looking forward to the future for our great Canadian Territory.”
Martin held several other positions within the Local Lodge, such as Negotiating Committee Member, Plant Committee Chairman, Health & Safety Representative and was elected as President of Local Lodge 863 in 1995, a position he held for 13 years. Martin became a Grand Lodge Apprentice Organizer in January 2008 and was successful in organizing several new groups, including in the healthcare industry.
He was elected as a Business Representative for District Lodge 78 in Toronto in 2010 and became the Directing Business Representative in April 2013. In 2014, Martin was appointed to the position of Grand Lodge Representative.
“I’m honoured and humbled to be taking this important role in our union,” said Martin. “I can’t wait to hit the ground running with General Vice President Chartrand and our entire staff.”
Ralph was instrumental in putting the IAM on the map in representing Health Care workers in 2018 when he successfully organized 2,600 new members at Spectrum Health Care.