Mr. John D. Baker

General Organizer
International Longshoremen’s Association

John D. Baker was unanimously reelected to a second four-year term as General Organizer for the International Longshoremen’s Association, at the union’s quadrennial convention in July 2019 in Hollywood, Florida. Prior to his election to his current post in 2015, Baker previously served on the ILA’s Executive Council for eight years as Assistant General Organizer and for 18 years as Vice President representing the Great Lakes region.

John Baker is celebrating his 61st Anniversary with the ILA in 2020, having started working the Cleveland docks in 1959.

Baker previously served for more than two decades as the President of the Great Lakes District Council and has been President Emeritus since 2007. A lifelong resident of Cleveland, Baker held the position of Secretary-Treasurer of his home ILA Local 1317 from 1964 until 2014, when he was elected President, replacing his brother Chauncey Baker who had led that local for five decades. Baker serves as President of the Cleveland Maritime Port Council, Maritime Trades Department and has served on the Boards of the Great Lakes Maritime Task Force, Cleveland International Trade Center and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Baker worked his way up the ranks of the ILA beginning his career as a longshoreman and later serving on a Union Organizer Committee and on the Great Lakes District and International Boards.

He is deeply involved in civic life and is a member of various labor, community, and cultural organizations.

In 1980, John Baker joined with then ILA International President Teddy Gleason in forming the Irish American Labor Coalition, an organization dedicated to bringing fair economic and job hiring practices to Northern Ireland.  Baker also is a member of the D.C. Friends of Ireland.  For more than two decades, Baker has been an advisor to several House Members in Washington serving on the Congressional Committee on Irish Affairs.  Baker traces his Irish heritage back to Co. Cork and Co. Clare.

Baker graduated from Collinwood High School and later attended Cleveland State University and Cuyahoga Community College.

Baker currently resides in Willoughby, Ohio.  He is the father of three children, and he has five grandchildren.