With only 51,002 members nationwide, the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers is one of the smallest unions in the AFL-CIO. Yet, its president, Newton Jones, is one of the highest paid union bosses in the United States.
Moreover, even though the union president has 16 ‘assistants’ who are paid from a low of $89,664 to a high of $416,326, he isn’t even the highest paid officer in the Boilermakers’ union.
A boilermaker’s work is hard, hot, and often dangerous.
While the average hourly wage for a Boilermaker is $27.76 per hour in the United States, according to payscale.com, Jones, as the president of International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, was paid $322.89 per hour based on his 2017 compensation of $672,620.
However, even at that compensation level, Jones was not the highest-paid officer in the Boilermakers’ union, according to the union’s records at the U.S. Department of Labor.
The distinction of having the highest paid in the Boilermaker’s union goes to Dale Haggerty, Jr., an International Vice President in the union. His compensation in 2017 was $797,226.
But that’s not all.
In addition to having some of the highest-paid officers in the labor movement, the Boilermakers’ union employed 16 ‘assistants’ who were paid between $89,664 and $416,326 in 2017.
Of course, all of these union salaries are paid for by the union dues paid by the union’s members.
Back in 2012, the Boilermakers’ union came under scrutiny for paying its officers lavish salaries and expensive perks.
At the time, the Kansas City Star noted:
- While few other unions still own planes, the Boilermakers partially own two, paying a half million dollars last year for maintenance and fees. When they travel on commercial flights, officers can go first-class.
- Once they arrive, officers may enjoy memorable experiences — exclusive pheasant hunting expeditions, fly-fishing adventures in Alaska, stays in Paris and on Marco Island, Fla.
- Some officers can supplement their union salaries with pay from the union’s own bank. At least two have made as much as an additional quarter million dollars a year.
- And once their careers are over, retiring officers drive away in gift cars.
Although the union cleaned up its spending for a few years, by last year “things appear to have returned to business as usual,” according to a 2017 report in the KC Star.
Six-figure salaries for officers and their relatives. Fine dining, stays in posh hotels and expensive hunting retreats. Cars as parting gifts for retired employees, and hundreds of thousands spent on promotional events and videos. All while membership continues its downward spiral and the pension fund struggles to stay afloat.
The 2018 Boilermakers' $75,000 Club on Scribd