Labor Union

International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers (IW)

Ironworkers logo (link)
Website:

www.ironworkers.org/

Location:

WASHINGTON, DC

Tax ID:

43-0337330

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(5)

Budget (2021):

Revenue: $64,708,219
Expenses: $57,285,429
Assets: $127,078,167

Formation:

1896

President:

Eric Dean

Type:

Labor Union

AFL-CIO

The International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers (IW) is a union of iron workers and member of the AFL-CIO. [1] The union supports left-of-center economic policies intended to raise wages and support union powers. In 2020, the IW endorsed Joe Biden for President despite a substantial minority of its membership being in favor of then-incumbent Donald Trump. [2]

The union supported the Biden administration’s major spending legislation, including the Build Back Better Act[3] and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.[4]

History

The International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers was established in 1896 by 16 delegates of smaller iron workers’ unions in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. [5]

Los Angeles Times Bombing

On Oct 1. 1910, a time bomb constructed of 16 sticks of explosives made of 80% dynamite connected to a cheap alarm clock exploded in an alley next to the Los Angeles Times building; at the time, the newspaper was staunchly Republican and its ownership opposed the growth of labor unions. [6] The explosion destroyed the building, killing 20 employees and maiming dozens of others. This act, dubbed “the crime of the century” by critics of unions and the deadliest crime to go to trial in California history, was allegedly organized and carried out by two brothers: J.B McNamara, who planted the bomb, and J.J McNamara, an official of the Ironworkers Union who ordered the attack. They also allegedly planted two other bombs hidden in the bushes next to the homes of intended to kill Felix J. Zeehandelaar, the head of a Los Angeles organization, and Harrison Gray Otis, the publisher of the Los Angeles Times.[7]

Despite major support from national trade unionists affirming their innocence, the McNamaras would plead guilty to their involvement in the Times bombing. The political fallout set labor organizing in Los Angeles back until the New Deal fundamentally altered labor relations nationwide.[8] [9]

Corruption Scandal

Investigations in the late 1990s and early 2000s implicated senior Ironworkers officials in financial misconduct. Former Ironworkers union president Jake West would plead guilty to a federal embezzlement charge in October 2002.[10] Francis Massey, a union accountant, pled guilty to falsifying financial reports, admitting to covering up “at least $1.5 million unauthorized ‘entertainment’ expenditures” by Ironworkers Union officials.[11]

West would be sentenced to three years’ imprisonment after a federal judge rejected his attempt to throw out his guilty plea.[12]

Politics and Advocacy

In January 2020, the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers endorsed Joe Biden for president. The union surveyed its membership and found “A minority of ironworkers are firmly committed to Trump, more so than previous Republican presidential contenders like Senator John McCain and Governor Mitt Romney.” However, most union members favored Biden over then-President Donald Trump. [13]

In its official explanation for the endorsement, the IW criticized President Trump for “bargaining in bad faith” by repeatedly making promises to the union but not following through, for appointing members to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) who supported right-to-work laws, and for permitting the erosion of union-preferring prevailing wage policies. [14]

North American Trade

In 2018, the IW’s leadership said it was “cautiously optimistic” about the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement, President Trump’s replacement for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). [15]

Infrastructure Act

The IW supported President Joe Biden (D)’s 2021 infrastructure bill, which pledged $65 billion in expenditure on roads, bridges, ports, the energy grid, and other infrastructure components, many of which will be built by IW members. [16]

Right to Work

The IW opposes right-to-work laws, which prohibit contract provisions that force employees to pay union fees. The IW claims that right-to-work laws are “an attack on labor unions led by well-funded, anti-union interest groups.” The group endorses the proposed PRO Act which would enhance union powers, including by overriding all right-to-work legislation at the state level. [17]

Prevailing Wage Laws

The IW supports prevailing wage laws, which require government contractors to be paid at rates equivalent to the average in a given geographic proximity; the laws generally favor unionized firms.  IW recommends an extension of the Davis-Bacon Act to protect current prevailing wage laws. [18]

CHIPS Act

The IW supports the CHIPS Act, legislation directing federal spending into private companies to increase domestic semiconductor manufacturing and research. [19]

Political Donations

The International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers PAC has spent around $2-3 million per election cycle on political contributions since 2000. Its highest spending cycle was 2018, at $3.14 million. [20]

Typically, more than 90% of political donations made by the IW PAC each year go to Democrats. However, the IW steadily increased its relative support for Republicans to 10.5% in 2020 and over 20% in the 2022 election cycle as of July 2022. [21]

People

Eric Dean is the general president of the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers. Dean was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. He began his career as an iron worker in December 1980 and completed his apprenticeship in 1984. In 1989, Eric became a local union officer in 1989 and held various positions within said Local Union before rising to a post with the national union in 1999. He ascended to the union’s number-two post of general secretary in 2011, and he was elected general president of the union in 2015.[22] [23]

Ronald J Piksa is the general secretary of the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers. [24] He has held various local union and subordinate union offices through his career.[25]

References

  1. “Who We Are.” IW. Accessed July 27, 2022. https://www.ironworkers.org/who-we-are/about-the-union ^
  2. “Iron Workers endorse Biden for President.” IW. January 22, 2020. Accessed July 27, 2022. https://www.ironworkers.org/news-magazine/news/2020/01/22/iron-workers-endorse-joe-biden-s-campaign. ^
  3. “Build Back Better Act.” Ironworkers. Accessed August 8, 2022. https://www.ironworkers.org/get-involved/action-alerts/lists/action-alerts/action-alert-build-back-better-act. ^
  4. “Our Issues.” Ironworkers. Accessed August 8, 2022. https://www.ironworkers.org/get-involved/our-issues-2. ^
  5.  “Who We Are.” IW. Accessed July 27, 2022. https://www.ironworkers.org/who-we-are/about-the-union. ^
  6. “The Los Angeles Times Bombing.” Digital Collections and Repositories | UC Libraries. Accessed August 6, 2022. https://digital.libraries.uc.edu/exhibits/arb/mcnamara/bombing.php. ^
  7. Irwin, Lew. “Bombing of The Times in 1910 Set Labor Back a Generation.” Los Angeles Times. Last modified October 3, 2010. https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-2010-oct-03-la-oe-irwin-bombing-20101003-story.html. ^
  8. Watson, Michael. “Big Labor’s Golden State: A Tale of Two Cities.” Capital Research Center. Capital Research Center, July 28, 2022. https://capitalresearch.org/article/big-labors-golden-state-part-1/. ^
  9. Irwin, Lew. “Bombing of The Times in 1910 Set Labor Back a Generation.” Los Angeles Times. Last modified October 3, 2010. https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-2010-oct-03-la-oe-irwin-bombing-20101003-story.html. ^
  10. Tucker, Neely. “Ex-Ironworkers Chief Admits Embezzlement.” The Washington Post. Last modified October 26, 2002. https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/local/2002/10/26/ex-ironworkers-chief-admits-embezzlement/0fcf84c9-6dd6-44b4-9e26-48c47ff00fa6/. ^
  11. “Union Accountant Admits Falsifying Reports.” The Washington Times. The Washington Times, August 23, 2002. https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2002/aug/23/20020823-041157-9437r/. ^
  12. Lengel, Allan. “Ex-Boss of Ironworkers Union Sentenced.” The Washington Post. WP Company, October 9, 2003. https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/2003/10/09/ex-boss-of-ironworkers-union-sentenced/3a55f7f8-60e4-4ca5-b849-8424fd1fbdce/. ^
  13. “Iron Workers endorse Biden for President.” IW. January 22, 2020. Accessed July 27, 2022. https://www.ironworkers.org/news-magazine/news/2020/01/22/iron-workers-endorse-joe-biden-s-campaign. ^
  14. “The Ironworker.” IW. February 2020. Accessed July 27, 2022. http://www.ironworkers.org/docs/default-source/magazine-pdfs/63255_iw_feb_20_web.pdf. ^
  15. “Ironworkers union chief ‘cautiously optimistic’ over Trump’s Mexico agreement.” The Hill. August 29, 2018. Accessed July 27, 2022. https://thehill.com/hilltv/rising/404164-iron-workers-union-president-is-cautiously-optimistic-over-trumps-agreement/. ^
  16. “Our Issues: Infrastructure.” IW. Accessed July 27, 2022. https://www.ironworkers.org/get-involved/our-issues-2. ^
  17. “Our Issues: Right to Work.” IW. Accessed July 27, 2022. https://www.ironworkers.org/get-involved/our-issues-2/right-to-work. ^
  18. “Our Issues: Labor Standards.” IW. Accessed July 27, 2022. https://www.ironworkers.org/get-involved/our-issues-2/labor-standards. ^
  19. “Issue Brief: Semiconductor Manufacturing.” IW. Accessed July 27, 2022. https://www.ironworkers.org/get-involved/action-alerts/lists/action-alerts/iron-workers-issue-brief-on-semiconductor-manufacturing. ^
  20. “PAC Profile: Ironworkers Union.” Open Secrets. Accessed July 27, 2022. https://www.opensecrets.org/political-action-committees-pacs/ironworkers-union/C00027359/summary/2022. ^
  21. “PAC Profile: Ironworkers Union.” Open Secrets. Accessed July 27, 2022. https://www.opensecrets.org/political-action-committees-pacs/ironworkers-union/C00027359/summary/2022. ^
  22. “Who We Are: Eric Dean.” Ironworkers. Accessed July 29, 2022. https://www.ironworkers.org/who-we-are/leadership-team/eric-dean/. ^
  23. “General President Eric M. Dean.” NABTU. Last modified June 14, 2017. https://nabtu.org/general-president-deans-bio/. ^
  24. “Who We Are: Ron Piksa.” Ironworkers. Accessed August 4, 2022. https://www.ironworkers.org/who-we-are/leadership-team/ron-piksa. ^
  25. “Ronald J. Piksa.” NCCMP. Last modified August 3, 2017. https://nccmp.org/staff/ronald-j-piksa/. ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Eric Dean
    General President
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: June - May
  • Tax Exemption Received: June 1, 1942

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2021 Jun Form 990 $64,708,219 $57,285,429 $127,078,167 $3,341,280 N $0 $59,739,369 $2,710,272 $4,469,471
    2020 Jun Form 990 $60,868,093 $55,198,920 $115,989,211 $237,679 N $0 $58,675,815 $2,608,264 $3,989,959
    2019 Jun Form 990 $63,559,499 $59,589,155 $109,519,393 $229,253 Y $0 $60,425,106 $1,962,422 $4,052,311 PDF
    2018 Jun Form 990 $62,115,426 $60,540,360 $104,420,081 $20,573 N $0 $58,785,352 $1,673,026 $3,843,590 PDF
    2017 Jun Form 990 $57,182,417 $66,914,927 $100,589,908 $23,756 N $0 $54,257,310 $1,649,972 $3,769,255 PDF
    2016 Jun Form 990 $56,570,845 $54,370,462 $109,147,886 $9,197 N $0 $54,033,248 $1,914,693 $3,730,333 PDF
    2015 Jun Form 990 $55,876,634 $50,930,039 $109,193,094 $14,195 N $0 $42,895,057 $2,561,730 $4,183,160 PDF
    2014 Jun Form 990 $53,423,960 $46,488,895 $103,795,656 $10,978 N $0 $41,454,884 $1,866,806 $3,970,463 PDF
    2013 Jun Form 990 $56,259,727 $46,984,257 $96,443,226 $2,064 N $0 $42,578,452 $1,816,705 $4,083,993 PDF
    2012 Jun Form 990 $48,027,429 $54,073,652 $87,489,350 $121 N $0 $35,792,392 $2,386,848 $3,967,659 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers (IW)

    STRUCTURAL ORNAMENTAL
    WASHINGTON, DC 20006-0000