Boilermakers Officials Continue High Living with Member Dues

Labor unions rarely skimp on salary and benefits, especially for those at the top. Yet for sheer audacity, few are the equal of the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers. An investigative report published this past Saturday in the Kansas City Star, a follow-up to an expose of several years ago, is an apt reminder. The author of each, Judy Thomas, plumbed publicly-available financial records of the union, concluding that officials and support staff have continued to indulge expensive tastes at members’ expense. National Legal and Policy Center Chairman Ken Boehm, quoted in the new article, had this to say: “This is so over the top. It really tells you that there aren’t the kinds of checks and balances that are supposed to be there.” A number of local affiliates aren’t so happy about this either.

When it comes to compensation for union office jobs, nobody does it quite like the …

Boilermakers Bosses Receive Excessive Salaries, Benefits

boilermakers-at-workSix-figure salaries, questionable consulting fees and lavish getaway vacations aren’t exactly unknown in the upper reaches of organized labor. But officials of International Brotherhood of Boilermakers (IBB) have been taking excess to a new level. That’s the conclusion of an exhaustive investigative report published in the Kansas City Star on Sunday, May 13. The author, Judy Thomas, spent many months combing through IBB financial reports and tax returns. Family members of Boilermakers President Newton Jones and other officials have been making out especially well. The Kansas City, Kan.-based union defends its spending and hiring practices, arguing that it operates within the bounds of the law and economic necessity. Yet a number of dues-paying members have a different view.

The International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers and Helpers represents nearly 60,000 workers in the U.S. and Canada. It’s also amassed an impressive asset portfolio. “The Boilermaker family of …