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About the Boilermakers

The International Brotherhood of Boilermakers is a diverse union representing workers throughout the United States and Canada. Our members are employed in heavy industry, shipbuilding, manufacturing, railroads, cement, mining, and related industries. We construct and repair electric power plants, refineries, pulp and paper mills, and steel mills. We build naval ships and commercial tankers, repair locomotives, make cement, and mine coal, gypsum, and talc. We forge tools for industry and make consumer goods.

Our union grew out of the Industrial Revolution and the demand for steam power. Organized in 1880, we are one of the oldest unions in the United States. We are headquartered in Kansas City, Kansas (since 1893) and service more than 200 local lodges across North America.

Our highly-skilled members have built nuclear, gas-fired, and advanced coal-fired power plants, as well as military ships, including various classes of submarines. Boilermakers helped construct the U.S.S. New York amphibious transport dock (launched in late 2009), which includes steel from the Twin Towers. We also helped build the world’s first nuclear submarine, the U.S.S. Nautilus. Boilermakers from Pennsylvania crafted the structural sections of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis (which includes 900 tons of stainless steel—more than any other project in the world at the time it was built). And it was our members who manufactured the aluminum-based fuel for the Space Shuttle’s solid rocket boosters.

The Boilermakers have played a key role in history. We built machinery to construct the Panama Canal and thousands of ships to help win two world wars.

We are a progressive, forward-thinking union that has established national funds for pensions, health and welfare, and an annuity trust. We boast one of the best apprentice programs in America and partner in an award-winning alliance with construction industry contractors and owners that has resulted in numerous union/management innovations for improved safety, manpower availability, training, and cost savings.

The Boilermakers union has long been politically active, with a permanent presence in Washington, D.C. We aggressively promote and defend the rights of our members and indeed those of all workers.

Policies and Resources

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