AFL-CIO headquarters in Washington, D.C., used money taken from workers to pay its officers and employees an average of $89,328 during fiscal year 2014.
Including every individual for whom AFL-CIO who reported a gross salary to the U.S. Department of Labor — from president Richard Trumka on down — the union coalition spent more than $35 million on compensation for three officers and 391 employees.
In 26 states and the District of Columbia, private-sector workers can be forced to pay AFL-CIO affiliates as a condition of employment. Public-sector workers can be forced to pay union fees in D.C. and 23 states, although thousands of Wisconsin and Michigan workers have exercised their privilege to opt out as a result of recent reforms.
Millions in tax dollars make their way to AFL-CIO each year, as the union coalition’s largest affiliates are American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and American Federation of Teachers.
This explains AFL-CIO support for bigger government, but AFL-CIO headquarters pay stands in contrast to the organization’s politics.
AFL-CIO backed the fringe-left Occupy Wall Street movement launched in late 2011, and it continues to embrace the group’s “99 percent” rhetoric. Solidarity with low-income workers is a major theme of AFL-CIO efforts to increase union membership, grow government and hike corporate taxes.
People’s World, a publication of Communist Party USA, reported that at an April 15 press conference unveiling the 2014 edition of AFL-CIO’s Executive Paywatch report, Trumka said the pay of top CEOs keeps increasing “because the system is rigged.”
“They’re cannibalizing their customer base,” Trumka added. Using money paid to AFL-CIO by its dues-funded union affiliates, Trumka was paid a total of $322,131 during AFL-CIO’s 2014 fiscal year ending June 30.