September 15, 2015

Robert Roach, will be the new President and Joe Peters, the new Secretary-Treasurer for the Alliance. Both ask for your support and commitment going forward.

Robert Roach will be President and Joe Peters will be Secretary-Treasurer for the Alliance

Washington, DC – Robert Roach, Jr. of the Bronx, New York, was elected today as President of the Alliance for Retired Americans, succeeding Barbara Easterling as the leader of the 4.4 million member grassroots advocacy organization. Joseph Peters, Jr. of Rochester Hills, Michigan was elected Secretary-Treasurer, replacing Ruben Burks.

The votes occurred during a meeting of the Alliance’s Executive Committee and take effect October 1, 2015. Richard Fiesta will continue to serve as Executive Director.

“I am honored and excited to be joining the Alliance for Retired Americans,” said Roach. “Older Americans are paying record-high prices for prescription drugs, and extremists in Congress are again trying to cut the earned Social Security and Medicare benefits seniors need. Educating and mobilizing retirees is more important than ever and I am excited to join the Alliance team.”

Roach started his career as a ramp serviceman for TWA in 1975 and was a member of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) Local Lodge 1056 in New York. He was elected to and held several union leadership positions including serving as the General Secretary-Treasurer of the IAM from 2012 until his retirement in July 2015. He currently serves as an Auditor for the International Trade Union Confederation and is a board member of the Pension Rights Center. 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.

“After a lifetime of work, Americans deserve a secure retirement. The Alliance has an important role to play in making sure that the rights of older Americans are protected,” said Peters.

Peters began his career at the Ford Motor Company. He was elected to a leadership position in the United Auto Workers (UAW) in 1978 and rose through the UAW ranks, culminating in his serving as regional director of UAW Region 1. He is a native of Michigan, graduating from Highland Park High School and attending Highland Park Junior College, Wayne State University and Oakland University.

He currently serves on the boards of three charitable organizations: Care House, which provides shelter and care for abused mothers and their children; ConcaD’Oro, an organization which provides funding for “No Child Without Christmas”; and the John Dewan scholarship foundation, which provides scholarships for deserving college students.

Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO, conveyed his full confidence in Roach and Peters. “With retirees such a key part of the labor movement, we need strong leadership at the Alliance for Retired Americans. With Robert Roach and Joe Peters, we will continue to have exactly the right people in place to fight to keep Social Security and Medicare strong for both current and future retirees.”

AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Elizabeth Shuler, who is also Executive Vice President of the Alliance, expressed thanks to Easterling and Burks for their years of service to the organization. “Under Barbara and Ruben’s leadership, the Alliance has grown to more than 4 million members with 1800 chapters across the country. They have been terrific leaders and critical to the Alliance’s success defeating many efforts to privatize Medicare and cut Social Security benefits over the years.”

“The Alliance will play an important role in educating and mobilizing seniors as we head into the 2016 election season,” said Fiesta. “We all look forward to Robert and Joe’s leadership to advance a pro-retiree agenda.”

Currently the Alliance is a leader in the effort to expand Social Security benefits while strengthening the trust fund and is also fighting for lower prescription drug costs for seniors.

For more information on the Alliance, visit
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