On April 23, 2015, General President Walter Wise announced his retirement, to be effective June 30, 2015. Below is a copy of the letter he sent out to Iron Worker district councils and local unions regarding his decision not to seek re-election and the general executive council's election of Eric Dean as the thirteenth president of the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers.
To: All Local Unions, District Councils and International Staff
Dear Brothers and Sisters:
I have had the honor of being an ironworker for over 42 years and the privilege of serving as an officer and representative of ironworkers since 1976. Our union and the brothers and sisters I have known, helped to develop the skills and the character of the man before you today. They have shaped my life, a very good life, and one for which I will always be eternally grateful.
Our union must always strive to be better; to grow and deliver safer, better lives for future generations of ironworkers. Change is a needed character that ensures our ability to deliver for our members. It must be the dynamo that provides the opportunity for future generations and embraces the energy of new ideas while driving us toward success.
It is with the full faith and confidence of a great future for our union and members, I have made the decision to not seek re-election as your general president and retire effective June 30, 2015.
I am truly a fortunate man to have been able to make a living doing something I love and enjoy. I have my health, the love of my beautiful wife, Liz, and daughter, Lauren, and the desire to explore the future with the knowledge that my union, our union will flourish under the guidance of General Secretary Eric Dean and his leadership team.
In accordance with the International Constitution, Article XIII, Section 3, the general executive council has met and unanimously elected Eric Dean, Local 63 (Chicago) as the thirteenth general president of our great union.
Thank you for your friendship and hard work that has helped to build our great union.
With best wishes and kind personal regards, I am