January 1, 2016
Upon the occasion of my retirement January 1, 2016, I wish to extend to each and every member my profound "Thank You" for the support, encouragement and friendship extended to me during the 18 1/2 years I have been honored and humbled to serve as International President of our great union, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.
Together we have experienced much, including great organizing successes and collective bargaining advances. We have also faced the horrors of 9/11 and terror attacks, the Great
Recession of 2008, and the perpetual assault upon our rights to form and join a union. Through it all, we have persevered and emerged a stronger and more powerful union force for progress. You, the membership, made all this possible.
I step down from office with deep gratitude to and for you. I will always treasure my experiences with you and wish upon every member the greatest of success for you and your family.
In the days and years ahead I ask you to continue your loyalty and support for the IAM. Please extend your help and encouragement to my successor and the Executive Council who continue to lead our union with dedication and devotion to our members.
You made our union great today, and I have no doubt you will make it even greater in times to come.
Again, thank you for the opportunity to serve and for the faith you placed in a member such as me.
May God bless you all.
R. Thomas Buffenbarger