During July, four union officials joined the Executive Board of the Maritime Trades Department, AFL-CIO.
They are International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) General President Edward A. Kelly, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) General Vice Presidents Brian Bryant and Rickey Wallace, and United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) International Secretary-Treasurer Brian Sanson.
Brother Kelly was elected the IAFF’s 10th General President in March 2021, succeeding Harold Schaitberger who retired. Kelly joined the Boston Fire Department as a fire fighter/EMT in 1997. He was among the thousands who reported to New York City’s Ground Zero after the September 11, 2001, attack. In addition, he personally responded to the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing victims.
Kelly served as President of his local (IAFF 718) before becoming the head of the Professional Fire Fighters of Massachusetts in 2011. He stepped down from that post in 2016 when he was elected IAFF General Secretary-Treasurer.
Brother Bryant replaces retired General Vice President James Conigliaro for the Machinists. Bryant was initiated into IAM Lodge S6 in 1989. A pipefitter by trade, he rose through his local’s ranks to serve as its president. In 1998, he was elected Directing Business Representative of IAM District Lodge 4.
In 2004, Bryant was appointed by the IAM international president as a Special Representative to the union’s eastern territory. Five years later, he was the territory’s Chief of Staff. In August 2016, he began serving as IAM General Vice President working in the General Secretary-Treasurer’s office at the union’s headquarters.
Brother Wallace becomes the MTD Western Area Executive Board Member, which was previously held by IAM General Vice President Sito Pantoja. Wallace was initiated into IAM Local Lodge 1296 of Clarksville, TN, in 1980. He became its President in 1991. He rose through the ranks and was appointed President of the Southern States Conference of Machinists in 2009.
The Machinists appointed Wallace to the Grand Lodge Staff in 2013, serving as Special Representative and Grand Lodge Representative. Five years later, he began serving as General Vice President of the Southern Territory.
Brother Sanson takes the place of Levi Allen, who stepped down as UMWA International Secretary-Treasurer. Sanson started with UMWA Local 1582 where he performed construction and maintenance. In 2000, he worked for the UMWA Career Centers, counseling laid-off miners and assisting them in retraining and job placement.
Sanson was hired by the international in 2005 to work in the Research Department and was part in many national and regional contract negotiations. He also served as the union’s liaison to the United Mine Workers of America Health and Retirement Funds.
MTD President Michael Sacco welcomed the four as “outstanding new members to the MTD Executive Board. They are leaders in their unions who have come up through the ranks. We look forward to working with them and express our appreciation to those they replace.”