Bank of Labor Announces Pro-Union Banking Option
Tom Johnson (l.) and Randy Cruse, representing the Bank of Labor, provide information to delegates attending the Building and Construction Trades Department Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C., April 30.
A Bank of Labor video plays at center stage of the BCTD Legislative Conference, attended by 3,000 delegates from the Building Trades.
In a Bank of Labor video introduced at the BCTD Legislative Conference May 1, a worker swings a sledgehammer in a symbolic blow against Wall Street banks.
WASHINGTON, D.C., April 30, 2012 — Organized labor received its first look at a unique banking opportunity today during the AFL-CIO’s annual Building and Construction Trades Department (BCTD) Legislative Conference held at the Washington Hilton and Towers Hotel. The newly-minted Bank of Labor rolled out promotional videos describing how unions can make better use of their funds through a financial institution dedicated to them, rather than to big business and anti-union organizations.
More than 3,000 leaders in the Building Trades viewed the presentations. “What Bank of Labor is offering the labor movement is a new and better approach to how labor invests its capital,” said bank Chairman and CEO Newton B. Jones, who is also President of the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, a BCTD member union.
Jones explained that many unions today place their money in big banks that have failed the country and failed their union customers.
“We’ve seen how Wall Street banks wrecked our economy through their greed and high-risk investment practices. For years, organized labor has had little choice but to invest in these banks, because, until now, there has not been a national labor bank that has reached out to the entire labor community. With today’s announcement, that has changed. The Bank of Labor is open for business.”
Jones said Bank of Labor is “the modern evolution” of a labor bank founded in 1924 in Kansas City, Kan., by the Boilermakers union. He noted that the institution has operated without interruption for nearly a century, a testament to the bank’s strength and performance. He said Bank of Labor is a logical and practical solution for organized labor.
“Unions no longer have to put their money in big banks that profit from organized labor then turn against us to support our adversaries and antiunion legislation,” he said. “Billions of dollars in labor pensions and other benefit plans, as well as operating capital, can now have a safe home in a bank that supports the labor movement —its philosophy, its devotion to workers, and its goals. Bank of Labor is committed to providing funding for union-built construction projects. We will help secure good-paying union jobs, and we will support labor affiliates and union contractors. We’ll also stand behind labor issues and causes with financial support, within the constraints of our federal, state, and local laws.”
Jones said the Bank of Labor offers unions “top-shelf services and products,” from online banking to credit cards, to trusts and fiduciary services. “Wherever you are, Bank of Labor is there, 24/7, through a host of online transaction services,” he said.
The bank’s Labor Advisory Board is composed of United Mine Workers of America President Cecil E. Roberts, Ullico President Edward M. Smith, Marco Consulting Group Chairman and CEO Jack M. Marco, and Union Sportsmen’s Alliance Executive Director Fred Myers. Until his unexpected death on April 8, BCTD President Mark H. Ayers also served on the Labor Advisory Board, and is still listed there, in memoriam, to honor his service to organized labor.
The bank’s board of directors and advisory directors also include accomplished leaders from both labor and business.
“This is truly a groundbreaking effort that can strengthen the entire labor movement, and we couldn’t be more proud to offer this opportunity to America’s unions,” Jones said.
Bank of Labor is affiliated with Brotherhood Bank & Trust, and is headquartered in Kansas City, Kan., where the parent bank has operated continuously since 1924.