Newton B. Jones
A 44-year member of the Boilermakers union, Newton began his career as a field construction Boilermaker in 1971, the day after he turned 18 years of age. During his decade “on the tools,” he was employed as a high rigger, tube roller and certified pressure welder, among other assignments, and worked in jurisdictions from Newfoundland and Ontario, Canada, to Kentucky, Alabama, Georgia and Florida.
In 1981, Newton joined International staff as an organizer. He was the principal architect of the Boilermakers’ “Fight Back” construction organizing strategy. “Fight Back” is an innovative approach that places union organizers on jobs run by nonunion contractors. The strategy has won millions of dollars in back pay for those unfairly discharged or wrongly denied employment because of their protected union activity, and it has turned millions of dollars of work union that was slated to be done non-union.
Newton was appointed Director of Organizing and Communications in 1986. While serving in that role, and as Managing Editor of the Boilermaker Reporter newspaper, he led the effort to computerize the union’s Publications Department. He also spearheaded the modernization of all Boilermaker headquarters computer operations.
He was elected International Vice President for the Southeast Section in 1994. In that capacity, he successfully negotiated an area agreement that included one of the largest increases to the wage and benefit package the area, or the organization, has ever enjoyed, bringing the Southeast Section on par with other sections of the United States.
In 2003, the International Executive Council elected Newton to fill the unexpired term of International President Charles W. Jones, who retired after 20 years in office and 60 years of service to the Brotherhood. Newton was unanimously reelected to the Boilermakers’ top leadership position in 2006 and 2011, during the union’s 31st and 32nd Consolidated Conventions. In 2016, at the 33rd Consolidated Convention, he was reelected International President by an overwhelming margin.
Newton presently serves as a Vice President on the AFL-CIO Executive Council and Chairman of the Materials Sector of IndustriALL, an international labor federation comprising 50 million workers in 140 countries. Since 2003, he has also served as Chairman of Brotherhood Bank & Trust. In 2008 he was unanimously chosen by the Brotherhood Bank and Trust Board of Directors to also serve as its Chief Executive Officer.
In that role, Newton has moved forward his vision for an expansion of the Boilermaker’s nearly century-old bank from one serving the greater Kansas City Labor Movement and community to one serving the greater Labor Movement of the United States as Bank of Labor, with its inaugural office opening in Washington, D.C., August 11, 2015.
Though Newton has served in many roles, his most valued one is as a father to his children, Cullen and Shae, and as a husband to his wife, Kateryna.