Recently-retired IAM Headquarters General Vice President Rich Michalski has been publicly recognized by two members of Congress for his long career of service to the IAM, the labor movement and working families. Michalski became a familiar face in the halls of Congress during his 45-year career with the IAM, promoting legislation that preserved the American Dream and vigorously opposing bills that hurt IAM members.
During remarks on the U.S. House of Representatives floor, Rep. Ed Pastor (D-AZ), a long-time friend of Michalski, lauded the work Michalski did to counter the anti-union and anti-labor agenda.
“Throughout my years of knowing Rich, I have truly valued the supportive friendship and long professional association I have shared with him,” said Pastor. “On many occasions, I have relied on his intelligence and political acumen, and he has proven to be a trusted voice who has taught me a great deal over the course of our friendship.”
Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) called Michalski, who initiated into IAM Local Lodge 1916 in 1968 as a welder with General Electric in Milwaukee, “an example of an American success story.”
“Truly the great cause of our time is to help protect the American Dream for working men and women who built this nation. I am proud to have joined with Rich in the cause,” said Ryan. “Rich’s long and illustrious career from humble beginnings as a welder to the leadership of one of the world’s great unions will not be forgotten and I congratulate him and wish him all the best in his well-deserved retirement.”
Michalski rose from positions at his local lodge including Steward, Chairman of the Bargaining Committee, and President to become the IAM’s Director of Legislative and Political Action in 1992. He also served as the Director of the Machinists Non-Partisan Political League (MNPL) and was appointed Headquarters GVP in 2006.