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It’s official: Pickthall appointed successor to Ritchie

Dave Ritchie, Robert Martinez and Stan Pickthall

IAM International President Robert Martinez (centre) shakes hands with newly appointed Canadian GVP Stan Pickthall. Looking on is outgoing GVP Dave Ritchie, who retires at the end of April this year. The official announcement took place at the general meeting of IAM District Lodge 250 in Vancouver.

Robert Martinez at DL 250 meeting

IAM International President Robert Martinez told delegates to the DL 250 general meeting that Dave Ritchie is what trade unionism is about. Ritchie is retiring at the end of April after serving the union for 38 years, the last 20 as Canadian GVP. Martinez used the meeting as an opportunity to announce the appointment of Stan Pickthall as Dave’s successor, effective May 1. Pickthall is a former DL 250 Business Representative and Directing Business Representative.

Vancouver, BC – IAM International President Robert Martinez announced today that Stan Pickthall has been appointed to succeed Dave Ritchie as Canadian General Vice President, to become the senior IAM officer in Canada, effective May 1, 2016. The announcement was made at the general meeting of IAM District Lodge 250.

Ritchie, who served the IAM for 38 years, the last 20 as Canadian General Vice President, is a 42-year member of the IAM.

“Dave Ritchie is what trade unionism is all about,” said Martinez. “You always knew where you stood with Dave.”

Ritchie was instrumental in saving thousands of IAM members’ jobs when Canadian Airlines was restructured in the late 1990s. He drew a line in the sand with Air Canada, saving the pensions of not only IAM members but those of other unions at the national air carrier when it emerged from bankruptcy protection in 2004. He led the team that was responsible for IAM members at Aveos getting the severance money they were owed when that aircraft maintenance company closed in 2012.

“Dave leaves a legacy of determined, honest and compassionate representation for the membership,” said Martinez. “He’s come a long way from those early days as an electric meter repairman at Sangamo Electric and he should be proud of what he has accomplished. He has served this union with distinction.”

Dave will continue to be actively involved with the union as a retiree. The golf tournament that bears his name, the Dave Ritchie Invitational Golf Tournament for Guide Dogs, is celebrating its 20th year in 2016. It has raised over a million dollars for the official charity of the IAM.

“I am confident that Stan will serve the Canadian membership and indeed the entire IAM with honesty, compassion and dignity,” said Ritchie.

On May 1, 2016, Stan Pickthall assumes the role of Canadian General Vice President after more than 22 years as a full-time officer with the Machinists Union.

Stan, a journeyman steel fabricator, became a member of IAM Local Lodge 692 when he joined Finning International in 1984. An award-winning IAM newsletter editor for northwest District Lodge 250 in Vancouver, he served in a variety of local lodge positions until being elected as Business Representative of IAM District Lodge 250 in 1994. He was elected as Directing Business Representative of DL 250 in 2005.

After serving two IAM Conventions as a member of the Committee on Law, he was appointed as GVP Dave Ritchie's Chief of Staff in August 2013.

Stan credited both the membership and the leaders of the IAM with providing him the opportunity to serve the union: "This is my life's work, and I look forward to continuing that work with all of you at my side, “ he said in his remarks to the Vancouver delegation. "I stand here before you because one day my senior steward - a mentor - asked me to get involved. I have had many mentors over the years, including our General Vice President, Dave Ritchie. I believe mentorship is key to furthering our movement."

"The IAM will continue to organize and grow a stronger labour movement," added Pickthall. "We will continue to provide the best negotiation and representation for our members. We will continue to be politically active, to build a better Canada. We owe that to our children and our grandchildren."

Known to pick up a guitar when the mood strikes him, Stan is also an avid cycling enthusiast when time permits. Married to Donna Marina, Stan has two daughters, Amanda and Vanessa, and two grandchildren, Evan and Lila.

District 250 presentation

From left to right: IAM HQ GVP Ricky Wallace, International President Robert Martinez, DL 250 Secretary Treasurer Cordell Draayers , IAM Canadian GVP Dave Ritchie, IAM DL 250 President Bill McPherson, incoming IAM Canadian GVP Stan Pickthall, DL 250 DBR Walter Gerlach. In the foreground is a clock presented to Dave Ritchie by IAM District Lodge 250 on his retirement after 20 years as the senior IAM official in Canada.