Our Industries

Shipbuilding Industry

Boilermaker members in the shipbuilding and marine construction sector have long built some of the finest military, merchant and specialty ships in the world. Our members contributed mightily to the war effort during WWI and WWII, building hundreds of combat and Liberty transport ships.

Today, our members work at U.S. and Canadian shipyards constructing aircraft carriers, submarines, littoral combat ships, destroyers, frigates, tankers, dry cargo ships, icebreakers, tugboats, and commercial fishing boats. In fact, this patriotic workforce may be found working anywhere, at any time, around the world performing and fulfilling their duty whenever their skills are required by either the United States Navy or the Fleet of the Canadian Royal Navy.

The Boilermakers union actively supports the Jones Act. Established in 1920 as the Merchant Marine Act, the Jones Act requires that ships transporting goods and passengers between U.S. ports be built in the United States and crewed and owned by U.S. citizens. Thousands of Boilermaker members benefit from the act’s protections.

Watch this short video to learn about our work at Victoria Shipyards in British Columbia:

Heavy Construction Industry

Construction sector Boilermaker members build, maintain and repair essential industrial infrastructure across North America, including power plants, steel mills, refineries, pulp and paper mills, bitumen (oil sands) processing plants and mining facilities.

Boilermakers have a long history of working on groundbreaking projects, including:

  • Manufacturing and building 10 miles of specially fabricated, close-tolerance, stainless steel tubing to help scientists measure gravitational waves
  • Replacing the hydroelectric generation station at the John Hart Dam on Vancouver Island, BC
  • Retrofitting an idle coal-fired power plant to one that burns eucalyptus trees to generate 34MW of electricity for the island of Hawaii
  • Constructing the only new coal-fired power plant in the United States for the University of Alaska, Fairbanks
  • Building the selective catalytic reduction (SCR) unit at Laramie River Station which delivers electricity across Wyoming, Nebraska and Colorado

Watch this short video about the Tennessee Valley Authority Southaven Combined Cycle Plant outside Memphis, Tennessee. Boilermakers spent a little over two years building the three natural gas units that generate approximately 780 MW:

Manufacturing Industry

Boilermakers are involved in manufacturing all across North America. Union members working in the manufacturing industry create quality products including everything from golf balls to caskets to heat exchangers and steel beams for highways and buildings—just to name a few. Members work in paper mills and chemical plants. They manufacture battery liners, vessels, tanks and even cryogenic freezers.

Watch a video about the Boilermakers from Local 104 in Seattle and their work at Markey Machinery where Boilermakers manufacture marine equipment. Members build the “Cadillac of Winches” for a variety of consumer needs. They even manufacture research winches for the oceanographic research fleet in the U.S.

Stove, Furnace, Allied Appliance and Metal Polishers Industry

After two mergers in the 1990s, Boilermakers now represent workers in the stove, furnace, appliance and metal polishers’ industries. The union currently has nearly 7,500 members in this area, including former members of the Western Energy Workers, an independent union that merged with the Boilermakers in 1994, and nearly 4,000 members as a result of an October 1996 merger with the Metal Polishers, Buffers, Platers and Allied Workers International Union.

From FBI badges to stoves to products for the health care industry, Boilermakers create quality goods for everyday use that span many industries.

Watch members from Local Lodge S50 in Baltimore, Maryland, as they manufacture top-of-the-line Vulcan Stoves that premier chefs rely on.

Cement Industry

Boilermakers work in cement and associated aggregate product plants across the United States and Canada. Second to water, cement is the Earth’s most consumed resource and is an essential component to almost any structure: dams, power plants, office and apartment buildings, manufacturing sites and homes, among many others.

Boilermakers work for the some of the largest cement-producing plants in the world at companies such as Ash Grove Cement Company, Buzzi Unicem, Cemex and LafargeHolcim Ltd.

Local S1978 Boilermakers perform surface mining at Bridger Coal Mine and take pride in environmental stewardship.

Railroad Industry

Boilermakers have long been involved in the North American railroad industry. We built many of the steam locomotives that powered rail freight and passenger service in the 1800s and into the mid 1900s.

Today, Boilermakers union members working in the railroad industry repair and rebuild diesel locomotives and weld railroad tracks.

Boilermaker skill sets include blueprint reading, metal fabrication, electrical work, cutting and welding.

International representatives of the Boilermakers union work alongside leaders of other rail unions to negotiate fair contracts with national and regional rail carriers. These include freight carriers Union Pacific, CSX, Norfolk Southern, Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF), Kansas City Southern, Canadian National, Indiana Harbor Belt, New Jersey Transit and Springfield Terminal, and commuter carriers Amtrak, Keolis, Indiana Harbor Belt, New Jersey Transit and Springfield Terminal.

Watch this short video of our railroad work in Altoona, Pennsylvania.