As a union Boilermaker, your vote is a personal decision. You have the right to vote for candidates and issues as you so choose. Your vote can make a difference in electing the representatives and policymakers who support labor issues and advocate for the work Boilermakers do.
Information on this site is intended to help you understand issues important to our union and the labor movement. The International Brotherhood of Boilermakers has not endorsed any U.S. Presidential candidate for the 2020 Election, and the information contained on this webpage in no way serves as an endorsement by the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers for any U.S. Presidential candidate.
If you’re not sure if you are registered to vote, need to register or need information on your state’s mail-in ballot procedures, visit www.BoilermakersVote.org
For years the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers has supported an “all of the above” energy policy and has long advocated for carbon capture, use and storage (CCUS) as the best solution that can truly reduce carbon dioxide emissions and preserve jobs, economies and social stability—while allowing for reliable energy produced by a mix of renewables, nuclear, fossil fuels and hydro power.
CCUS technology will ensure responsible use of America’s fossil energy resources, and the deployment of CCUS will create millions of good paying jobs for Boilermakers and other union craftspeople, while ensuring a future for affordable reliable energy. In addition, CCUS is the only solution to decarbonize the industrial sector—including cement, refineries and others where many Boilermakers work—and will be vital to the future of those industries.
It is imperative to aggressively remove financial barriers and set in motion measures to accelerate CCUS retrofit and new-build projects, which will, in turn, drive continued innovation and cost efficiencies.
Workers’ rights include the right to join and form a union, good paying job, healthcare, safety, paid leave, and retirement security, among others. Workers’ rights should include the freedom to join together to negotiate with co-workers for better wages and working conditions. Everyone who wants to work has the right to a good job where we earn a fair return on our work and receive a wage that allows us to support ourselves and our families.
We need legislation that will strengthen protections for employees that engage in collective action and facilitates a process where workers and management can reach a first agreement in a reasonable amount of time, plus provides for penalties for employers who break the law.
The Boilermakers union advocates for measures that support workers’ rights, including: supporting the PRO Act, which holds companies accountable for intimidating workers during organizing campaigns, ending so-called “Right to Work” initiatives, supporting any measures that make it easier in general for working people to organize, and supporting the appointment of pro-union, pro-worker judges to courts at all levels, including the Supreme Court.
Stop So-Called “Right to Work”: The International Brotherhood of Boilermakers vehemently opposes all so-called “Right to work” legislation because these laws are harmful to working families, and they deteriorate the rights of American workers – both union and nonunion.
Today, “Right to Work” laws in 26 states prohibit workers and employers from negotiating union security clauses, which ensure all workers who receive economic benefits and rights at work through union representation, share the costs of maintaining the union. In states without these laws, private business and employees can freely negotiate to make sure everyone who benefits from a union contract, pays their fair share of the costs of obtaining and protecting those benefits.
National Labor Relations Board: The Boilermakers union advocates for building a National Labor Relations Board with appointments that are pro-union and pro-worker rights. We call for an NLRB that will rule fairly and in favor of working people.
Buy American: In order to fully harness the economic benefits of U.S. defense spending and provide the highest quality products to our nation’s warfighters, the Boilermakers union strongly advocates for strengthening Buy American requirements for federal defense procurement. The Boilermakers union supports 100 percent U.S. content requirements on all U.S. defense procurement programs and the elimination of loopholes that reduce the effectiveness of domestic content requirements.
Job outsourcing: The Boilermakers union opposes the offshoring of jobs, especially to nations that have low wages and little to no rights for working people. Too many U.S. workers who have lost jobs due to outsourcing are still waiting for their jobs to return to America.
The International Brotherhood of Boilermakers supports solutions that would fund insolvent multi-employer pension plans and avert a looming retirement crisis for millions of Americans. One of those solutions includes the Butch Lewis Act, which would offer federally subsidized loans to multi-employer plans in danger of becoming insolvent. It would also maintain the health of multi-employer plans and adequately fund the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (PBGC) without making any cuts to the earned benefits of current or future retirees. Plans would invest the money from these loans and use the investment earnings to pay retiree benefits and improve the plan’s financial health.
The Boilermakers union also opposes any legislation that would cut programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid and Railroad Retirement, including the adoption of the so-called chained CPI or raising the retirement age.
The International Brotherhood of Boilermakers also opposes legislation that would create a new multi-employer pension design, often referred to as “composite” plans. This hybrid design would offer inferior benefits and shift any pension burdens to workers and retirees, not employers.
Worker safety is more than a “worker right;” it’s an expectation that when a Boilermaker goes to work in the morning, he or she will return home safely at the end of the day. The International Brotherhood of Boilermakers advocates for safety and health laws that protect workers, and an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) that truly puts workers’ safety first.
Industry Recognized Apprenticeship Programs (IRAPS): The Boilermakers union vehemently opposes any effort to include construction trades among the Industry Recognized Apprenticeship Programs scheme. IRAPS do not follow the same standards of Boilermakers’ rigorous, proven apprenticeship programs and leave the construction industry vulnerable to improper training and substandard safety measures.
Apprenticeship requirements at high-hazard facilities: The Boilermakers union advocates for legislation that sets requirements for a majority of workers in certain high-hazard facilities, such as petroleum refineries and chemical plants, to be graduates of approved apprenticeship programs or have equivalent experience.
International trade is a vital part of the U.S. economy. But, too often, powerful corporate interests have negotiated trade deals in secret; stacking the deck in their favor to increase profits for the biggest and most unscrupulous corporations at the expense of working people.
Working people need trade policies that support good jobs at home and boost sustainable development abroad. Trade agreements should be well-balanced, stimulate the creation of good jobs, protect the rights and interests of working people, and promote a healthy environment. Trade agreements must be enforced fairly, quickly and consistently. As America’s working people have learned the hard way, trade agreements without complementary policies such as infrastructure investment, export promotion strategies and active labor market policies will not produce shared prosperity, but only help concentrate wealth in the hands of the 1%.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Q. Why is the Boilermakers union involved in politics?
A. Political engagement is an important role for unions. Politics affects everything about our lives. Legislation enacted and decisions made by elected officials impact our work lives and the ability of our union to fight for better pay and benefits for our families—as well as the industries we work in, from energy to manufacturing and more. There is a direct link between the ballot box and our economic and workplace security—and the enemies of working people are more engaged than ever in trying to destroy us.
The Boilermakers union engages in politics because we care about working family issues—job security, workplace safety, healthcare, retirement, and the right to join a union—just to name a few things. We also stay involved to advocate for our industries and ensure the future of our work.
- Q. Are union dues spent on political candidates?
A. No, the Boilermakers union does not use your dues for political campaign contributions. Your dues pay for servicing you as a member, including for bargaining and enforcing your contract and organizing new members to build our union’s power.
- Q. Is the Boilermakers union or my local lodge telling me how to vote?
A. No. The most important thing is that you do vote and make an informed decision for on where candidates stand on issues that are important to you and your family.
So, make sure you are registered to vote. Make a plan to vote early, by mail or on Election Day. Lastly, get everyone around you to vote, too. If you’re not sure if you’re registered, need to register or need information on mail-in rules in your state, visit www.BoilermakersVote.org.
- Q. Has the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers endorsed a U.S. Presidential candidate for the 2020 elections?
A. No. The International Brotherhood of Boilermakers has not endorsed any candidate for the 2020 U.S. Presidential election.