To serve our membership well — and to provide our industry partners with highly skilled, efficient, and motivated workers — the Boilermakers union has established allied organizations that provide specialized services. Most of these organizations were created as Taft-Hartley trusts — cooperative ventures between the Boilermakers union and participating employers.
The Mobilization, Optimization, Stabilization, and Training Fund (MOST). Established in 1989 as a joint labor-management trust by the National Association of Construction Boilermaker Employers (NACBE) and the Boilermakers union, MOST offers 17 innovative programs that elevate the performance of Boilermaker craftsmen and generate millions of dollars annually in cost savings for contractor and owner communities. Under MOST, lost-time injury costs have been reduced by 90 percent, and 98 percent of tests under the Substance Abuse Program come back clean.
Common Arc. Unlike some other organizations affiliated with the Boilermakers union, Common Arc is actually a corporation instead of a Taft-Hartley trust. The corporation was created by NACBE, with extensive participation by the Brotherhood. This organization coordinates and tracks welder testing, eliminating the need for redundant certification tests. Welding certification costs have dropped by 95 percent since implementing Common Arc testing.
Boilermakers National Funds. The Boilermakers National Funds, created as Taft-Hartley trusts, are designed to help our members receive the health care they need and to build financial security for retirement. Separate Taft-Hartley trusts were set up for the Boilermakers National Health & Welfare Fund, the Boilermaker-Blacksmith National Pension Trust, and the Boilermakers National Annuity Trust. Not all members participate in these funds; some have other types of benefits available through their employers. National funds are separate legal entities from the Boilermakers union. As with other Taft-Hartley trusts, an equal number of union and management representatives sit on their boards of trustees.
Brotherhood Bank & Trust. Founded in 1924, the Brotherhood Bank & Trust has operated continuously for more than 85 years. It is one of the premier labor banks in the United States. The Boilermakers union owns a controlling share of the bank, which provides financial services to the International, local lodges, individual members and staff, and the general public. The bank has over $500 million in total assets and provides custodial services for more than $5 billion in Taft-Hartley assets.
Tripartite Alliance Construction lodge leaders have been meeting with Boilermaker contractors and their customers to identify problems and find solutions since the mid-1980s. This tripartite alliance between union, contractor, and owner has grown from a small group in the Ohio Valley and Northeast area to an annual nationwide meeting of several hundred representatives. The success of these meetings in generating solutions to industry challenges soon led to a national meeting.
At the annual MOST/Tripartite conference in Myrtle Beach, representatives from each of these groups identify problems they are experiencing and form committees to search for solutions.
Many good things have grown from this alliance, most notably the Common Arc Welder Certification Program and MOST.
In recent years, the national tripartite conference has been augmented by regional and local lodge conferences in several areas of the United States and Canada.