Robert Roach, Jr. is the President of the Alliance for Retired Americans. He retired as the General Secretary‐Treasurer of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) in July 2015, a position he had held since 2012. He currently serves as an Auditor for the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and is a board member of the Pension Rights Center. He is also a member of the foundation board of directors at SUNY Empire State College Harry Van Arsdale, Jr. Center for Labor Studies.
Roach started his career in the IAM as a ramp serviceman for TWA in 1975 and was a member of Local Lodge 1056 in New York. Soon after, he transferred to Local Lodge 1445 in Newark, NJ. He was elected as a Shop Steward in 1976 and served as Grievance Committee Chairman from 1979 through 1992. Roach also held other positions in Local Lodge 1445, including Trustee, Vice President and President. In 1984, he was elected District Lodge 142 Trustee and also served as coordinator for the District’s Human Rights Committee. Roach became a District 142 General Chairman in 1992.
Roach became General Vice President (GVP) of the IAM Transportation Department on June 1, 1999, and was re‐elected in 2001, 2005 and 2009. He served as a member of the International Transport Workers’ Federation Executive Board and Management Committees for over 12 years. As General Vice President, he was the chief decision maker in the bankruptcy proceedings for major airlines in which the Machinists Union was able to protect defined benefit plans.
Roach has also served as a member of the Executive Committee of the AFL‐CIO’s Transportation Trades Department, an Executive Board member of the AFL‐CIO’s Maritime Trades Department and Trustee to the IAM National Pension Fund.
While General Secretary-Treasurer of IAM he also served as Co‐Chairperson of the IAM National Pension Fund, the IAM National 401(k) Plan and the IAM Health and Benefit Trust Fund. Roach has also been a member of the board for the Union Label & Service Trades Department and Union Privilege, and is a Labor Advisory Board Member of American Income Life.
He holds a B.S. in Labor and Management Relations from SUNY Empire State College’s Harry Van Arsdale, Jr. Center for Labor Studies and is a graduate of the Labor Liberal Arts Program at Cornell University. He also completed the Scheinman Institute on Conflict Resolution program at the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations and the FMCS Institute Course on Conflict Management – Becoming a Labor Arbitrator.