IAM Canadian Chief of Staff Gord Falconer has announced his retirement, effective Jan. 2, 2024.
Falconer, a 25-year IAM member, has held the position since May 2016 and has served under Canadian General Vice Presidents Stan Pickthall and David Chartrand.
“Gord has been a friend and advocate of countless members over his storied IAM career,” said IAM International President Martinez Jr. “We thank him for his service and wish him and his family a happy, healthy and long retirement.”
Gord was hired by the IAM from the United Steelworkers in 1998 given his unique skill set, particularly in apprenticeship training and skilled trades. As an IAM Education Representative, Falconer taught countless stewards and members, visiting each corner of Canada.
In addition to delivering training, Falconer was involved in several labour adjustment projects during the transition to free trade, which obliterated manufacturing in Canada and led to plant closures across manufacturing centres.
Falconer was appointed Grand Lodge Representative in charge of political action in June 2013. In this role, he led the IAM’s political strategy and lobbying efforts at the provincial and federal levels. His strategy for sharp thinking, critical analysis, which is always rooted in worker advocacy, made him a strong voice for the IAM in the Canadian Labour Congress and the Ontario Federation of Labour, where he is still active as one of the OFL Vice-Presidents, representing IAM.
“Gord has been a critical partner to myself and the entire Canadian Grand Lodge staff,” said IAM Canadian General Vice President David Chartrand. “He has left his mark on our organization, and beyond earning him respect from his peers. He is known for his quick wit, insight, diligence, integrity, dedication and unmistakable commitment to advocating for workers and bringing their perspective to everything he does.”
Falconer has been a union activist since the 1970s, holding positions of president, vice president, treasurer and member of the grievance committee. He also served as an instructor for steward training, leadership development, job evaluation, pay equity, worker empowerment and train-the-trainer.
“It’s been the honour of a lifetime to serve this union I love so much,” said Falconer. “I’m so grateful to the membership, officers, staff and leadership that I have had the honour to work with over the years.”
frank 5 December, 2023