For the first time in more than a decade, the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades has a new president.
The 160,000-member organization has elected Ken Rigmaiden, IUPAT's executive general vice president, as general president to succeed James Williams, the union announced Monday (April 1). Rigmaiden was elected by the union's General Executive Board after being endorsed by all IUPAT business managers.
The change took effective Monday, as Williams officially retired from office after decades of service to the union and 11 years as general president.
Ken Rigmaiden was unanimously elected as IUPAT's new general president. He has served the union since 1977.
Williams said he had worked with Rigmaiden for 19 years and knew early on that he "had a quality of leadership that sets him apart from the average leader."
"In my opinion, there will be no learning curve. He's good to go from day one," Williams added.
Focus on Members
In 1977, Rigmaiden became a floor covering installer apprentice in District Council 16/Local Union 12 in San Jose, CA. Over the years, he was elected to many leadership positions in both the local and district councils; in 1996, he became the general representative of the IUPAT Western Region.
Rigmaiden began working for the international headquarters in Washington, D.C., in 1997 as an assistant to the general president with responsibilities in National Agreements and Jurisdiction. He also served as the national project coordinator for the IUPAT Jobs Corps program, as well as other duties.
He was elected as executive general vice president in 2002.
"General President Williams has ably led this union for nearly 11 years," said Rigmaiden. "Like the rest of the labor movement, we've been through some tough times. Yet, under Jim's leadership, we always overcame those challenges and emerged as the union known for fighting above its weight class."
Rigmaiden also thanked the board and the General President's Advisory Committee for their unanimous endorsement.
"I will work to ensure that their confidence in my leadership of our union is not unfounded," he said. "My primary focus will be on creating more opportunities for our members."
James Williams spent 11 years as the general president. His retirement was effective on April 1.
45 Years of Service
"There are no words to express just how much I have loved every minute of this job," said Williams.
"It has been my honor and privilege to serve the greatest membership in the labor movement. My thanks to those who have given me such incredible support over the years, and I will always cherish my time spent with my fellow members," he said.
Williams served IUPAT for 45 years as a member and a leader. In 1968, he started his career as an apprentice glazier in District Council 21/Local Union 252 in Philadelphia, PA. Since then, Williams worked his way up the ranks of his local union, district council, and international headquarters, eventually becoming IUPAT's general president.
"I, and the rest of the proud men and women of the IUPAT, wish him the best in his well-earned retirement," Rigmaiden said.
Other Positions, About IUPAT
Bill Candelori, general vice president of the IUPAT Eastern Region, will fill Rigmaiden's position as the executive general vice president for the remainder of the term, which is until August 2014. Candelori will also continue to oversee the Easter Region's operations.
General Secretary-Treasurer George Galis will remain in his position.
IUPAT represents more than160,000 active and retired men and women in the U.S. and Canada. Members include industrial and commercial painters, drywall finishers, wall coverers, glaziers, glass workers, floor covering installers, sign makers, display workers, and convention and show decorators.