This article originally appeared on watchdog.org.
AFL-CIO¬†headquarters in Washington, D.C., used money taken from workers to pay union officers and employees an average of $89,328 during fiscal 2014.
Including every individual for whom AFL-CIO reported a gross salary to the U.S. Department of Labor ‚??¬†from president Richard Trumka on down ‚?? the union coalition spent over $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 ability to opt out as a result of recent reforms.
Millions siphoned from taxpayers 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‚?Ě 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 on an April 15 press conference¬†unveiling the 2014 edition of AFL-CIO‚??s Executive Paywatch report. At the presser, Trumka said the pay of top CEOs¬†keeps increasing ‚??because the system is rigged.‚?Ě
‚??They‚??re cannibalizing their customer base,‚?Ě 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.
The gap between average AFL-CIO headquarters pay and the national average¬†for all occupations grew from $36,367 in 2004 to $40,639 in 2013. AFL-CIO did not respond to a Watchdog.org inquiry about the pay gap between AFL-CIO headquarters and the rest of the country.
Average AFL-CIO pay, the national mean wage for all occupations and the 90th percentile wage for all occupations are¬†shown in the following chart. Averages for all occupations for are not yet available from the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2014.
A¬†recent¬†AFL-CIO video calling for a federal minimum wage hike¬†lamented, ‚??all the income gains of the last 15 years went to the richest 10 percent of Americans,‚?Ě but AFL-CIO headquarters officers and employees were among the top 10 percent of wage earners nationwide every year from 2004-11.
In 2013, average AFL-CIO headquarters pay was $1,251¬†lower than the 90th percentile as calculated by BLS. In 2012, AFL-CIO headquarters pay was just $62 shy of the top 10 percent.