James A. Williams Jr

General President

Jimmy Williams Jr. took office as General President of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades on September 1, 2021, ushering in a new generation of leadership and a reinvigorated vision for the IUPAT.

Williams is a fourth-generation glazier from District Council 21/Local Union 252 (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania). He began his career with the IUPAT in 1998, was appointed Assistant to the General President in 2002, and served as the Regional Organizing Coordinator for the IUPAT Eastern Region. In 2011, he was appointed to the position of Organizing Director and remained in that role after being elected as General Vice President At Large in 2014. 

A decade spent in the field meeting workers at their homes, in union halls, and on job sites helped shape his belief that a more diverse and engaged membership will strengthen the IUPAT at all levels. He has also taken that approach to the International, putting together a General Executive Board and senior staff team that is the most diverse in IUPAT history.  

Under Williams’ leadership, the IUPAT is tackling issues that exploit workers and undermine our industry, like wage theft and worker misclassification. He is a powerful voice within the labor movement about the right to organize and, in particular, the need to protect undocumented workers who speak out against bad employers.   At its core, General President Williams’ vision for the IUPAT is as a union where workers of all races, genders, homelands, and economic backgrounds can come together to support one another and fight for the well-being of themselves, their coworkers, and their communities. 

Williams is Co-Chair of the U.S. Industry Pension Fund (IPF), Labor Management Cooperation Initiative (LMCI), and International Finishing Trades Institute (iFTI). In addition, he is a member of the North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU) Governing Board of Presidents and a member of the Executive Council and the General Board of the AFL-CIO. 

He splits his time between Maryland and Pennsylvania and is the proud father of three sons.

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