Kansas City Star Boilermakers Investigation

Judy L. Thomas, a reporter for The Kansas City Star, also uncovered misuse of union funds after reading financial disclosure reports. Thomas found that Newton B. Jones, the president of the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers and Helpers, a Kansas City union with 59,000 members, received a salary and reimbursements worth more than $600,000 in one year.[24]

Thomas found other extravagances. In addition to Jones’s high salary, the union maintained partial ownership in two private airplanes at a cost of over $500,000 per year. Union officers were treated to exotic hunting and fishing expeditions. Some officers were supplementing their union income with salaries from the union’s bank, a practice that added $250,000 a year to the salary of at least two officers. Union officers’ family members were on the payroll as well. The union even spent $43,000 to send Newton’s 23-year-old son to film school in British Columbia. The union also maintained a suite at the Kansas Speedway racetrack, which cost $40,000 per year.[25]