The IAM held its second International President’s Excellence in Organising Awards on 7 January, 2021. The awards were presented by Vinny Addeo, Director of Organising for the Grand Lodge and International President, Robert Martinez Jr. Winners were awarded via videoconferencing platform.
Addeo opened by saying, “Under normal circumstances, we would have been proud to hold this presentation at our Grand Lodge Convention last September in front of our entire body of delegates but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve had to resort to alternative means.”
International President Robert Martinez Jr. addressed all present “Brothers and Sisters, even though I wish we could be together in person, it’s still great to see each and every one of you. We started the IAM International President’s Excellence in Organising Awards in 2019. And we felt it was extremely important to continue this tradition no matter the circumstances.” Martinez went on to list the organizing successes in 2019 and previous years.
The IAM Canadian territory won awards for Best District and Best organizer. IAM District 11 was recognized as the top organizing district in Canada and Nik Sifakis was lauded as the top Organiser in the country.
Top Organizing Canadian District or Local: District Lodge 11. (Directing Business Representative – Pierre Grenier)
“2019 was a great year for their highly motivated organizing team, who added a number of new bargaining units to the membership of District 11 Lodges based in Montreal, Quebec, said Canadian General Vice-President Stan Pickthall. “With more than 600 new members brought into the IAM, including the following new groups: AAA Canada (300 members), Laberge Transportation (120 members), Rad Technologies (185 members), Rolls Royce Engineering (32 members) and Clean International (25 members).
“Along with District 11 officers and Reps, I also would like to recognize and endorse the work of their highly integrated team, working under the Direction of DBR Pierre Grenier and Quebec Coordinator Dave Chartrand. Without the coordination of this very committed team, much of this success would not have happened: Jean Marc Brunet, Éric Gagné and Ron Trottier,” said Pickthall.
2019 Organizer of the Year by Territory: Nektarios (Nik) Sifakis – Lodge 1751, District 140 – Organizer
“Brother Nik Sifakis is a 20-year member of Local Lodge 1751 in Montreal, Canada. He is a very dedicated organizer from District 140 in the Canadian Territory over the past 2-3 years. Nik is a friendly go-getter who brings out his passion and love for the IAM in his approach to existing and potential new members.
“Under the direction of Grand Lodge Representative Michel Richer and General Chairperson Peter Tsoukalas, he has worked on many campaigns over the past several years in Montreal and continues to grow his trade with each new challenge. In April 2019, IAM District 140 recognized the work Nik had been doing within Local Lodge 1751 and placed him on staff as a full-time organizer working for the District in Montreal. Unfortunately, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, in July 2020 the District was forced to cut back on expenses, and Nik returned to his job working for Air Canada and Local Lodge 1751, “said Pickthall.
Sifakis thanked District 140 and Richer for the resources and support he received. “It was passion that drove me to do what I do. Teamwork is important. The challenged of COVID-19 made it difficult because we lost so many members. But that setback helped because workers were able to see what the employers are really about. This strengthened our position and workers saw that. Times are tough but we will do the work that needs to be done,” he concluded.
The IAM in Canada owes a debt of gratitude to this group of Rock-Solid Organizers.
Read the article on the 2109 Awards where Canada was a big winner