AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, with scissors, and Bank of Labor (BOL) Chairman and CEO Newton Jones, standing with Trumka, cut the ribbon to officially open the bank’s new Washington, D.C., office. Joining in the ceremony are, l. to r., Megan Elder, BOL Marketing Development Officer; Bob McCall, BOL President; Puja Arora, COO, AFL-CIO ITC; Jack Marco, Chairman, Marco Consulting Group (partially hidden); Patrick Finley, General President, OPCMIA; Ed Smith, CEO, Ullico; Bridget Martin, BOL Market President - East Region; and Bill Arnold, BOL Market President - North America. Present but obscured in photo is Cecil Roberts, President, UMWA. Jocelyn Augustino photo
AFL-CIO’s Trumka joins President Jones in ribbon cutting
AFL-CIO PRESIDENT Richard Trumka and Boilermakers International President Newton B. Jones (the bank’s chairman and CEO) cut the ribbon signifying the official opening of Bank of Labor’s new Washington, D.C., office August 11. More than 150 labor leaders and supporters attended the opening. The office is located at 815 Connecticut Ave. NW (at Connecticut Ave. and I [Eye] St.), less than a block from AFL-CIO headquarters.
Trumka was the keynote speaker for the event. He noted that the bank’s mission is similar to that of other trusted organizations that serve unions and union workers such as the AFL-CIO Investment Trust Corp (ITC), the AFL-CIO Building Investment Trust (BIT), Union Insurance Group (UIG), and Union Labor Life Insurance Company (Ullico).
Citing Bank of Labor’s roots in Brotherhood State Bank, founded by the Boilermakers in 1924, Trumka stated, “This bank has never betrayed the trust of working men and women in its 91 years of continuous service. Now [Bank of Labor] has an opportunity to play an even greater role in creating economic opportunity and stability for everyday families. Now that’s a worthy goal. That’s a goal that’s in line with the mission of the AFL-CIO.”
Also speaking at the event were United Mine Workers of America President Cecil Roberts and Union Insurance Group President Chris Decaigny.
Roberts praised President Jones as “a great labor leader and visionary.” He told Jones, “You lead a great union. All of you [at the grand opening] should take a moment right now and salute this visionary of the Labor Movement, because he’s earned it.
“What I’d like to see happen right here tonight,” Roberts continued, “is that we start the process of making the Bank of Labor too big to fail, because this is our money, this is our movement, and we ought to put it to work for us.”
Decaigny spoke of the “symbiotic relationship” where his company, Bank of Labor, Ullico and AFL-CIO trusts work to give back to labor. “We provide a solution to labor that’s not Wall Street heavy,” he said.
President Jones completed his comments by dedicating the bank’s new office to International President Joe Franklin, who served the Boilermakers from 1908 to 1944 and led the effort to form Brotherhood State Bank.
“Joe Franklin was just an ordinary union worker of his time,” Jones said. “He grew up in Sedalia, Missouri, without a father. He had virtually no formal education, but he believed in the promise of organized labor. That promise led him to become the longest-serving International President of the Boilermakers union, holding office for 36 years, from 1908 to 1944.
“Under Franklin’s leadership, the Boilermakers established Brotherhood Bank and Trust, the bedrock foundation upon which Bank of Labor rests today.