Alex Garcia has previously served the union as International Secretary-Treasurer, COPE Director, as well as director of the combined COPE and Government Affairs Department.
Garcia was only 19 when he was first hired by American Airlines in Miami’s Fleet Service division in 1989. He quickly rose to power in his local, and by 1992, he was an experienced shop steward representing ramp workers at Miami International Airport. He also served as chief steward and chair of the local’s election committee. In 2002, at the age of 32, Local 568 members elected him President, and he was re-elected in 2005. In 2007, TWU International lured Garcia away from Miami to bring his extensive union and political experience to the national level.
At the International, Garcia has worked effectively as a legislative representative, field representative, and political coordinator, using the first-hand experience he gained while working for U.S. Senator Bob Graham (D-FL) from 1998-2003. Garcia assisted the senator’s successful campaign for a third term and his bid for the presidency in 2003, and also worked on the election campaign of Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL).
In 2010, Garcia was elevated to COPE Director, and director of the combined COPE and Political Field Department, now Government Affairs. He was instrumental in creating the TWU State Conference program which combines the power of TWU locals in a geographic area to strengthen grassroots activism on the local and national level.
As Secretary-Treasurer, Garcia kept the union on sound financial footing and brought his expertise to local leadership by conducting Secretary-Treasurer trainings around the country.
Jerome Lafragola became International Secretary-Treasurer in 2018 after serving as an International Administrative Vice President of TWU.
Lafragola began his career with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in 1985, working as a Crew Chief in charge of the Lincoln Tunnel Emergency Response Garage. A proud member of TWU Local 1400, Lafragola has been previously elected by his co-workers to various positions including shop steward, Division Vice-Chairman, Division Chairman, Recording Secretary, Vice-President and President a position he held for 22 years.
As the director of the TUUS division for five years, Lafragola oversaw TWU’s largest unit, monitoring contract negotiations, organizing drives, and legislation affecting the members across the country.
In addition to his other duties, Lafragola served as a TWU Vice President and as an International Executive Board Member (“IEB”), conducting trainings for staff and Local leadership across all divisions of the union, as well as leading annual conferences to further the mission of the TWU.
In 2015, the IAC created the International Campaign Unit—positioning The TWU to lead strategic contract and political fights—and tapped Lafragola to manage these efforts, which he did until 2018.
Lafragola is skilled in negotiations, grievance and discipline handling, and union administration. He holds a BA in Labor Studies from the National Labor College and a MS in Human Resources and Labor Relations from the New York Institute of Technology.
Curtis Tate became an International Administrative Vice President in 2017, after a long and active history with the TWU.
Tate has been an active TWU Member in Local 100 since joining the New York City Transit Authority in 1986. He began his career as a Car Cleaner in the Car Maintenance Department. In 1988, he was promoted to Train Operator in the Rapid Transit Division.
Through his activism and constant battles to defend the safety and rights of his coworkers, Tate rose through the ranks of Local 100. He has held positions including Shop Steward, Safety Rep, Vice Chair, Acting Chairman and Vice President. Tate was appointed to the International Executive Board in 2008. In 2009, he was appointed Acting President of Local 100, then elected as an International Vice President in 2009. Tate has been the Transit, Universities, Utilities and Services Director since 2017, and also leads the TWU International Campaign Unit.
Tate has studied labor relations at Cornell University, the Murphy Institute at CUNY, Rutgers University as well as the George Meany National Labor College. He believes at the end of the day, it’s about representing the members, practicing good trade unionism and fighting for all workers’ rights. Tate fights for every worker to have a seat at the table – across genders, age, and any other identity.
Mike Mayes has been a devoted and active member of the TWU since 1984.
Mayes got his start as a fleet service clerk with AirCal, a California-based airline later bought out by American Airlines. After serving as a shop steward and station chair in Oakland, Mayes was later elected president of Local 505 in 2006. He served three more terms as president before he became an international representative in 2016. Later that same year he was elevated to Air Division Director. After serving as director of the division for two years, Mayes was elevated to International Administrative Vice President in March 2018. Mayes retired from Air Division Director in January 2021.