Labor Union

American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO)

This is a logo for AFL–CIO. Further details: AFL-CIO logo (link)
Website:

aflcio.org/

Location:

WASHINGTON, DC

Tax ID:

53-0228172

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(5)

Budget (2016):

Revenue: $154,802,418
Expenses: $148,981,874
Assets: $83,215,600

The American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) is the largest federation of labor unions in the United States. Formed in 1955 in a merger between the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations, the AFL-CIO boasts membership of over 9 million voting members and 3 million associate members.[1] While the AFL-CIO retains a large member base, the proportion of the workforce that is organized by labor unions has declined substantially since the 1960s.[2]

While the union federation has generally supported Democrats and liberal candidates, it was once far more centrist than it has been in recent years. Under former presidents George Meany and Lane Kirkland, the AFL-CIO was staunchly anti-Communist, going so far as to refuse to endorse Democratic presidential candidate Sen. George McGovern in 1972 over McGovern’s opposition to the Vietnam War.[3]

Under Kirkland’s successor John Sweeney and controversial current president Richard Trumka, the union has aligned much more closely with the Democratic Party and the organizational left. After Sweeney took over as the union’s president with Trumka as his chief lieutenant, the AFL-CIO increased its support for liberal politicians and progressive causes, including those unrelated to the economy and collective bargaining.[4]

This trend has only accelerated in recent years under Richard Trumka’s leadership. In the AFL-CIO’s 2016 fiscal year, the union reported $45,972,521 in political activities and lobbying (including $8,165,576 in deposits of employee-elected contributions to the union’s political action committee).[5] Recipients of AFL-CIO dues-funded contributions include the Center for American Progress (CAP) Action Fund, the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), and the New World Foundation.[6] The federation has also proposed admitting progressive groups other than unions, including the NAACP, the Sierra Club, and MomsRising, to its membership as either formal partners or affiliates.[7]

History

The AFL and CIO Before the Merger

The American Federation of Labor (AFL) was founded in 1886 as a split by craft-based unions from the Knights of Labor, one of the first major labor unions to operate in the United States. Led by Samuel Gompers, the AFL focused not on political and social issues like the Knights, but rather on winning the privilege of collective bargaining for AFL member unions. Gompers’s AFL was aligned with populist Democrats like William Jennings Bryan and early progressives like Woodrow Wilson.[8]

The Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) split from the AFL in November 1935, shortly after the passage of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), which set the first federal rules for collective bargaining in American workplaces. The CIO proposed organizing based on workplace rather than skill, and the two union federations remained separate until the 1950s.[9]

George Meany-Lane Kirkland Era

After the passage of the Taft-Hartley Act in 1947, AFL president George Meany and CIO president Walter Reuther made efforts to unite the organizations. By 1955, the AFL-CIO had formed, with Meany, the less left-wing of the two federation presidents, taking office as president of the new unified federation. Meany, under pressure from Congress, cracked down on labor racketeering by expelling the International Brotherhood of Teamsters from the federation, a suspension that would not be lifted until the 1980s.[10] Meany and Reuther sparred until Reuther and his United Auto Workers left the AFL-CIO in 1968, only returning to the federation after Meany’s death.[11]

In 1972 under the centrist Meany and his then-lieutenant and future successor Lane Kirkland, the AFL-CIO withheld its endorsement from left-wing presidential nominee Sen. George McGovern (D-S.D.), despite Kirkland’s appearance on the “enemies list” of McGovern’s opponent, President Richard Nixon.[12] This was in keeping with the Meany-Kirkland-era AFL-CIO’s staunch anti-Communism, which saw Kirkland provide $6 million in AFL-CIO support to the Polish labor union Solidarity, which opposed Poland’s Communist regime.[13]

Alongside and for a period after McGovern’s defeat, the AFL-CIO participated in the Coalition for a Democratic Majority, a center-left coalition seeking to push the Democratic Party towards the center.[14]

The Shift Left and SEIU Split

Also see John Sweeney

While the AFL-CIO under Meany and Kirkland had been generally center-left, a revolt within the union’s leadership after Kirkland’s retirement led to substantial change. Kirkland retired in August 1995, appointing Thomas R. Donahue president of the AFL-CIO. He would not hold office for long, being deposed by a slate of candidates led by John Sweeney of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) at the federation’s 1995 national convention.[15]

In stark contrast to Meany and Kirkland’s centrist liberalism, Sweeney was claimed as a member by the Democratic Socialists of America, a left-wing pressure group, while head of the SEIU. He also helped lead a coalition opposing the First Gulf War.[16]

Sweeney was the first AFL-CIO president from a union substantially composed of public employees.[17] This in itself was a substantial change from the approach of the Meany-Kirkland era; George Meany was skeptical of collective bargaining by public employees, arguing, “It is impossible to bargain collectively with the government.”[18]

Sweeney, however, was brought into the AFL-CIO’s highest office with the staunch support of SEIU, which is divided between public and private sector employees, and the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), another large public-employee union.[19]

This has supported a push to the left in the AFL-CIO’s activities that has continued under Sweeney’s successor, Richard Trumka. Union members have historically split roughly 60-40 in favor of Democrats, but the political operations that ballooned under Sweeney and Trumka are highly partisan in favor of the left.[20]

While these political changes were going on, the federation and American unions in general were continuing to lose members. Membership in labor unions as a percentage of the workforce had been steadily declining since the 1950s, and it has continued through the 2000s and 2010s.[21]

These declines, and a desire by SEIU president Andy Stern to increase political activities even more than Sweeney, led Stern and Teamsters president James P. Hoffa to create a rival union federation, Change to Win.[22] The departure of the SEIU, Teamsters, and several other unions (some of which later rejoined the AFL-CIO) cut the AFL-CIO’s membership by over three million employees.[23]

Richard Trumka was elected AFL-CIO president after Sweeney’s retirement in 2009. Trumka, the controversial former head of the United Mine Workers of America and Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO under Sweeney, took office despite allegations that he had improperly spent $150,000 to try to defeat Teamsters president James P. Hoffa in a 1996 union officer election. Trumka invoked his Fifth Amendment rights in statements to federal regulators concerning the allegations.[24]

Present Activities

Organizing and Representation

The AFL-CIO is a federation of member labor unions that engage in collective bargaining. The federation is funded by “per capita tax,” an indirect fee on union members levied by the federation on local member unions. Per capita tax levied by the AFL-CIO varies: For most members affiliated with a national labor union that is a member of the AFL-CIO, per capita tax is $0.65 per member per month. For “directly affiliated local unions,” per capita tax is nine dollars per month.[25]

Direct representation of employees is largely the responsibility of local labor unions. The AFL-CIO reports fewer expenditures on representational activities than political activities and lobbying on the federation’s annual report. Representational activities reported on the AFL-CIO’s annual report focus on organizing and solidarity.

Support for Liberal Organizations

At least since Sweeney was elected AFL-CIO president, the AFL-CIO has been a substantial supporter of the broader left-progressive movement. The federation contributes millions in dues money—in 2016, likely exceeding $12 million—to liberal activist groups annually.[26] Federal labor law allows labor organizations to spend dues money on political lobbying and organizing, with certain limitations.[27]

The role of the AFL-CIO in the progressive infrastructure is substantial. The union federation is reportedly a member of the Democracy Alliance, reporting $110,000 in contributions to the organization of liberal donors in the union’s 2016 fiscal year. The stated purpose of the contributions were support for “Developing Progressive Democratic Community.”[28] Committee on States, a state-level project of the Democracy Alliance, received an additional $25,000 in that year.[29]

The list of progressive organizations receiving funds from the AFL-CIO is long and covers groups in most areas of left-wing politics. Liberal economic think tanks and mobilizing groups like Economic Policy Institute, Center for Popular Democracy, and Center for Economic and Policy Research are among the recipients of AFL-CIO support. Also receiving support are progressive groups that support union-associated special interest positions, such as the Alliance for Retired Americans (which opposes public-sector pension reform) and the Coalition for Better Trade (a protectionist lobby group).[30]

Openly left-wing media outlets receive AFL-CIO funds as well. The Center for American Progress Action Fund, which publishes the ThinkProgress family of blogs, received $25,000 from the federation in 2016.[31] The AFL-CIO also sponsors a progressive radio show aimed at union households, America’s Work Force Radio.[32]

The union federation also sponsors a handful of groups intended to spread the progressive message to conservative-leaning constituency groups. The most notable is likely the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance, an association for union member hunters. In 2016, the group received $119,500 from the AFL-CIO.[33]

In response to declining union membership, the AFL-CIO has proposed admitting non-labor-organizations to formal partnership or affiliate status.[34] The proposal was modified substantially after building and construction trades unions objected to the federation offering membership or membership-like status to environmentalist groups including the Sierra Club.[35]

In 2019, the AFL-CIO gave $60,000 toward a voter turnout and voter protection program administered by NEO Philanthropy through its child organization the Funders Committee for Civic Participation (FCCP). [36]

Green New Deal

In March 2019, the AFL-CIO sent a letter to two Democratic Party sponsors of the Green New Deal (H.R. 109) bill, Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), expressing their opposition to the House Resolution. The letter said that the Green New Deal “makes promises that are not achievable or realistic” and that the AFL-CIO would “not accept proposals that could cause immediate harm to millions of our members and their families.” [37]

The following 10 labor organizations signed onto the letter: United Mine Workers of America (UMWA), International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), Laborers International Union of North America (LiUNA!), United Association, International Brotherhood of Boilermakers (IBB), International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers (BSOIW), Utility Workers of America (UWUA), International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE), North America’s Building Trades Union (NABTU).

Political Contributions

Like most national labor unions, the AFL-CIO supports a network of political action committees, known as “committees on political education” (or COPE) in labor union parlance.[38] Under federal law, direct contributions from union treasuries to political campaigns are restricted. Unions are allowed to offer their members the opportunity to contribute to a union-controlled “separate segregated fund” that channels contributions to union-supported candidates and political party committees.[39]

The AFL-CIO’s political committees are substantial supporters of Democratic Party candidates. As of mid-2016, records analyzed by the Center for Responsive Politics show that the AFL-CIO’s political committees and employees spent over $57 million on contributions since records began in 1990, good for 15th place among organizations classified.[40]

Polling indicates that in a typical election, American union households (defined as union members and those living with union members) tend to split roughly 60-40 Democratic.[41]

Judicial Confirmations

In early 2019, the AFL-CIO released a letter urging senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee not to confirm Neomi Rao to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. The letter argued that Rao would “roll back civil and human rights and eviscerate regulations that are unpopular with business interests.” It went on to accuse Rao of being racist and anti-LGBTQ-rights.[42]

Leadership

Since 2009, the controversial career union officer Richard Trumka has headed the AFL-CIO. He was previously Secretary-Treasurer of the union federation under John Sweeney after a period as president of the coal miners’ union, the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA).[43]

As president of the UMWA, Trumka gained a reputation as an aggressive and combative union boss. Controversy erupted during a 1993 strike led by Trumka’s UMWA, with reported vandalism and the shooting of mine offices. During the strike, a non-union worker was shot and killed while driving past strikers. Trumka responded to the shooting by declaring, “I’m saying if you strike a match and put your finger in, common sense tells you you’re going to burn your finger.”[44] Trumka and the UMWA were sued by the man’s widow; the case was settled out of court.[45]

Trumka has also been accused of financial improprieties at the national AFL-CIO. In 1996, Trumka endorsed incumbent Ron Carey for the office of president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) against James P. Hoffa. Carey was re-elected, but Trumka was accused of directing $150,000 in AFL-CIO funds to Carey’s campaign. Trumka took the Fifth under questioning by investigators and was not charged.[46]

The AFL-CIO has two other executive officers who are paid directly by the union federation, Secretary-Treasurer Elizabeth Shuler and Executive Vice President Tefere Gebre. Both are longtime union officials. Shuler held various positions with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW).[47]

Trade Departments

The AFL-CIO is divided into six trade departments that specialize in particular industries. The Building and Construction Trades Department, Maritime Trades Department, Department for Professional Employees, Transportation Trades Department, and Union Label and Service Trades Department allow member unions of the AFL-CIO to coordinate on industry-specific policies.[48]

Associated Organizations

AFL-CIO reports having 12 “related tax-exempt organizations” on its IRS Form 990 tax return.[49] Most are the six trade departments and the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions, which provide forums for AFL-CIO member unions to coordinate industry- or employer-specific policies. The union also reports its in-house insurance company for members as a subsidiary organization.[50]

The AFL-CIO also sponsors the AFL-CIO Lawyers’ Coordinating Committee. The Committee is a membership organization of union-side employment lawyers, enabling union attorneys to pool resources and organize their own demonstrations and activism within the union movement.[51] The remaining related organizations are Working America, the American Center for International Labor Solidarity, and the Working for America Institute.

Working America is a 501(c)(5) organization used by the AFL-CIO for political organizing among workers not represented by labor unions.[52] However, reports indicate that as few as one-fourth of the claimed membership actually pay Working America dues of $5 per year.[53] Working America is heavily involved in the AFL-CIO’s political operations, and received $7,630,560 in AFL-CIO funds for political and lobbying activities alone in the union federation’s 2016 fiscal year.[54]

The American Center for International Labor Solidarity (also known as the Solidarity Center) is an international-focused 501(c)(5) associated with the AFL-CIO. According to tax filings, it is principally funded by government grants.[55]The Working for America Institute is a 501(c)(3) organization that runs apprenticeship programs under contract to the U.S. Department of Labor.[56] In 2014, the Institute received almost all of its funds from government grants.[57] In past years, the Institute has received grants from the Energy Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the Ford Foundation.[58]

Regional and Local Federations

In addition to its member unions and the national headquarters, the AFL-CIO organizes state federations, regional federations, and city-level labor councils to organize its member unions on the local level. The organizations, which are generally do not qualify as labor unions that fall under the transparency rules set by the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA), conduct campaigns at the state, regional, and local levels to advance the union’s agenda.[59]

Despite the continued rift between the AFL-CIO and the SEIU-led Change to Win union federation, the AFL-CIO will admit Change to Win member unions to its regional and local federations.[60] Local union-organizing supporting groups known as worker centers are also eligible for admission to local councils and state federations.[61]

Member Unions

As of 2017, these 56 national unions are members of the AFL-CIO.[62]

Actors’ Equity Association

Air Line Pilots Association

Amalgamated Transit Union

American Federation of Government Employees

American Federation of Musicians

American Federation of School Administrators

American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)

American Federation of Teachers (AFT)

American Postal Workers Union

American Radio Association

American Train Dispatchers Association

Associated Actors and Artistes of America

Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers, and Grain Millers International Union

Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen

California School Employees Association

Communications Workers of America

Farm Labor Organizing Committee

Glass, Molders, Pottery, Plastics and Allied Workers International Union

International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees

International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers

International Association of Fire Fighters

International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers

International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers

International Brotherhood of Boilermakers

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers

International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers

International Longshoremen’s Association

International Plate Printers, Die Stampers and Engravers Union of North America

International Union of Allied Novelty and Production Workers

International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers

International Union of Elevator Constructors

International Union of Operating Engineers

International Union of Painters and Allied Trades

International Union of Police Associations

Laborers’ International Union of North America

Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association

NFL Players Association

National Air Traffic Controllers Association

National Association of Letter Carriers

National Nurses United

National Taxi Workers Alliance

Office and Professional Employees International Union

Operative Plasterers’ and Cement Masons’ International Association

Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists

Seafarers International Union of North America

International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers

Transport Workers Union

Unite Here

United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry

United Auto Workers

United Food and Commercial Workers

United Mine Workers of America

United Steelworkers

United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers

Utility Workers Union of America

Writers Guild of America, East

References

  1. AFL-CIO, Department of Labor Annual Report (Form LM-2), 2016, Schedule 13a ^
  2. Bui, Quoctrung. “50 Years Of Shrinking Union Membership, In One Map.” NPR. February 23, 2015. Accessed October 19, 2016. http://www.npr.org/sections/money/2015/02/23/385843576/50-years-of-shrinking-union-membership-in-one-map ^
  3. Serrin, William. “Lane Kirkland, Who Led Labor In Difficult Times, Is Dead at 77.” The New York Times. August 15, 1999. Accessed October 04, 2016. http://www.nytimes.com/1999/08/15/us/lane-kirkland-who-led-labor-in-difficult-times-is-dead-at-77.html?_r=0 ^
  4. Weinstein, Kenneth R. “From Meany to Sweeney: Labor’s Leftward Tilt.” The Heritage Foundation. October 4, 1996. Accessed October 04, 2016. http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/1996/10/bg1094nbsp-from-meany-to-sweeney-labors#10 ^
  5. AFL-CIO, Department of Labor Annual Report (Form LM-2), 2016, Line 51 and Schedule 16 ^
  6. AFL-CIO, Department of Labor Annual Report (Form LM-2), 2016, Schedules 16 and 17 ^
  7. Greenhouse, Steven. “A.F.L.-C.I.O. Has Plan to Add Millions of Nonunion Members.” The New York Times. September 06, 2013. Accessed October 04, 2016. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/07/business/afl-cio-has-plan-to-add-millions-of-nonunion-members.html ^
  8. “Samuel Gompers.” Encyclopedia Britannica Online. December 29, 2007. Accessed October 05, 2016. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Samuel-Gompers#ref215822 ^
  9. “American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO).” Encyclopedia Britannica Online. November 24, 2010. Accessed October 05, 2016. https://www.britannica.com/topic/American-Federation-of-Labor-Congress-of-Industrial-Organizations ^
  10. “American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO).” Encyclopedia Britannica Online. November 24, 2010. Accessed October 05, 2016. https://www.britannica.com/topic/American-Federation-of-Labor-Congress-of-Industrial-Organizations ^
  11. “American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO).” Encyclopedia Britannica Online. November 24, 2010. Accessed October 05, 2016. https://www.britannica.com/topic/American-Federation-of-Labor-Congress-of-Industrial-Organizations ^
  12. Serrin, William. “Lane Kirkland, Who Led Labor In Difficult Times, Is Dead at 77.” The New York Times. August 15, 1999. Accessed October 04, 2016. http://www.nytimes.com/1999/08/15/us/lane-kirkland-who-led-labor-in-difficult-times-is-dead-at-77.html?_r=0 ^
  13. Smith, J. Y. “AFL-CIO’s Kirkland Dies at 77.” Washington Post. August 15, 1999. Accessed October 06, 2016. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/national/daily/aug99/kirkland15.htm ^
  14. Weinstein, Kenneth R. “From Meany to Sweeney: Labor’s Leftward Tilt.” The Heritage Foundation. October 4, 1996. Accessed October 04, 2016. http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/1996/10/bg1094nbsp-from-meany-to-sweeney-labors#10 ^
  15. “American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO).” Encyclopedia Britannica Online. November 24, 2010. Accessed October 05, 2016. https://www.britannica.com/topic/American-Federation-of-Labor-Congress-of-Industrial-Organizations ^
  16. Weinstein, Kenneth R. “From Meany to Sweeney: Labor’s Leftward Tilt.” The Heritage Foundation. October 4, 1996. Accessed October 04, 2016. http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/1996/10/bg1094nbsp-from-meany-to-sweeney-labors#10 ^
  17. Weinstein, Kenneth R. “From Meany to Sweeney: Labor’s Leftward Tilt.” The Heritage Foundation. October 4, 1996. Accessed October 04, 2016. http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/1996/10/bg1094nbsp-from-meany-to-sweeney-labors#10 ^
  18. “Government Unions 101: What Public-Sector Unions Won’t Tell You.” The Heritage Foundation. Accessed October 06, 2016. http://www.heritage.org/research/factsheets/2011/02/government-unions-101-what-public-sector-unions-wont-tell-you ^
  19. Weinstein, Kenneth R. “From Meany to Sweeney: Labor’s Leftward Tilt.” The Heritage Foundation. October 4, 1996. Accessed October 04, 2016. http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/1996/10/bg1094nbsp-from-meany-to-sweeney-labors#10 ^
  20. Weinstein, Kenneth R. “From Meany to Sweeney: Labor’s Leftward Tilt.” The Heritage Foundation. October 4, 1996. Accessed October 04, 2016. http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/1996/10/bg1094nbsp-from-meany-to-sweeney-labors#10[/note] Since records began in 1990—and thus principally under Sweeney’s and Trumka’s presidencies—the AFL-CIO’s political arms have contributed over $57 million to political candidates, parties, and similar non-501(c) groups, with 98 percent directed to Democrats.[note]“Top Organization Contributors.” Center for Responsive Politics. June 27, 2016. Accessed October 07, 2016. https://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/list.php?cycle=ALL ^
  21. Sherk, James. “Unions’ Declining Appeal Shows Need for Alternatives.” The Heritage Foundation. January 27, 2012. Accessed October 07, 2016. http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2012/01/declining-union-membership-shows-need-for-alternative-choices[/note] The AFL-CIO too lost members, and substantial action by Sweeney to increase organizing in parallel to the federation’s political activities did not reverse the trend.[note]Weinstein, Kenneth R. “From Meany to Sweeney: Labor’s Leftward Tilt.” The Heritage Foundation. October 4, 1996. Accessed October 04, 2016. http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/1996/10/bg1094nbsp-from-meany-to-sweeney-labors#10 ^
  22. Edsall, Thomas B. “Two Top Unions Split From AFL-CIO.” Washington Post. July 26, 2005. Accessed October 07, 2016. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/07/25/AR2005072500251.html ^
  23. Edsall, Thomas B. “Two Top Unions Split From AFL-CIO.” Washington Post. July 26, 2005. Accessed October 07, 2016. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/07/25/AR2005072500251.html ^
  24. Greenhouse, Steven. “Combative Union Leader Steps from Shadows.” July 2, 2009. Accessed October 7, 2016. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/03/business/03labor.html ^
  25. AFL-CIO, Annual Report of a Labor Organization (Form LM-2), 2019, Item 69 for Schedule 13, Row 1 ^
  26. AFL-CIO, Department of Labor Annual Report (Form LM-2), 2016, Schedules 16 and 17, with author’s calculations ^
  27. Melchior, Jillian Kay. “Dues for Democrats.” National Review. November 12, 2015. Accessed October 12, 2016. http://www.nationalreview.com/article/426949/dues-democrats-jillian-kay-melchior ^
  28. AFL-CIO, Department of Labor Annual Report (Form LM-2), 2016, Schedule 16 ^
  29. AFL-CIO, Department of Labor Annual Report (Form LM-2), 2016, Schedule 16 ^
  30. AFL-CIO, Department of Labor Annual Report (Form LM-2), 2016, Schedule 16 ^
  31. AFL-CIO, Department of Labor Annual Report (Form LM-2), 2016, Schedule 16 ^
  32. AFL-CIO, Department of Labor Annual Report (Form LM-2), 2016, Schedule 16 ^
  33. AFL-CIO, Department of Labor Annual Report (Form LM-2), 2016, Schedule 16 ^
  34. Greenhouse, Steven. “A.F.L.-C.I.O. Has Plan to Add Millions of Nonunion Members.” The New York Times. September 06, 2013. Accessed October 04, 2016. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/07/business/afl-cio-has-plan-to-add-millions-of-nonunion-members.html ^
  35. Maher, Kris. “Pitch to Advocacy Groups Irks AFL-CIO Members.” August 29, 2013. Accessed October 12, 2016. http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424127887324324404579043420634376060[/note] The AFL-CIO itself runs an organizing group for non-unionized employees called Working America that also conducts canvassing operations for AFL-CIO supported candidates.[note]Lenchner, Charles. “Mobilizing the Unorganized: Is “Working America” the Way Forward?” New Labor Forum. January 27, 2012. Accessed October 12, 2016. http://newlaborforum.cuny.edu/2012/01/27/mobilizing-the-unorganized-is-working-america-the-way-forward/ ^
  36. AFL-CIO, Department of Labor Annual Report (Form LM-2), 2019, Schedule 14. ^
  37. Chasmar, Jessica. “AFL-CIO Shreds Green New Deal: AOC’S plan could cause ‘immediate harm to millions.’” Associated Press. March 13, 2019. Accessed April 2, 2019 https://www.apnews.com/c96bd69e2f1f083ec4fa709e77fd3497 ^
  38. AFL-CIO, Department of Labor Annual Report (Form LM-2), 2016, Item 69 Question 11(a) ^
  39. United States. Federal Election Commission. Federal Election Commission Campaign Guide: Corporations and Labor Organizations. Washington, D.C.: Federal Election Commission, Information Division, 2007. http://www.fec.gov/pdf/colagui.pdf ^
  40. “Top Organization Contributors.” Opensecrets. June 27, 2016. Accessed October 12, 2016. https://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/list.php?cycle=ALL ^
  41. “New Analysis: Dues Money Goes to Causes That Union Members Don’t Support.” LaborPains.org. November 13, 2015. Accessed October 12, 2016. http://laborpains.org/2015/11/13/new-analysis-dues-money-goes-to-causes-that-union-members-dont-support/[/note] The AFL-CIO’s political contributions split 98-2 Democratic.[note]“Top Organization Contributors.” Opensecrets. June 27, 2016. Accessed October 12, 2016. https://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/list.php?cycle=ALL ^
  42. “Letter Opposing the Nomination of Naomi Rao to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.” AFL-CIO. Accessed March 11, 2019. https://aflcio.org/aboutadvocacylegislative-alerts/letter-opposing-nomination-naomi-rao-us-court-appeals-dc-circuit. ^
  43. Klein, Philip. “Labor’s Monster Man.” Capital Research Center. December 2010. Accessed October 12, 2016. https://capitalresearch.org/2010/12/labors-monster-man/ ^
  44. Klein, Philip. “Labor’s Monster Man.” Capital Research Center. December 2010. Accessed October 12, 2016. https://capitalresearch.org/2010/12/labors-monster-man/ ^
  45. Klein, Philip. “Labor’s Monster Man.” Capital Research Center. December 2010. Accessed October 12, 2016. https://capitalresearch.org/2010/12/labors-monster-man/ ^
  46. Greenhouse, Steven. “Combative Union Leader Steps from Shadows.” July 2, 2009. Accessed October 7, 2016. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/03/business/03labor.html ^
  47. Greenhouse, Steven. “NATIONAL BRIEFING | WASHINGTON; Woman To Seek High Labor Post.” The New York Times. July 8, 2009. Accessed October 13, 2016. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9502E2D81639F93BA35754C0A96F9C8B63[/note] Gebre led the Orange County Federation of Labor, a local subsidiary of the AFL-CIO.[note]Jamieson, Dave. “At AFL-CIO, An Immigrant’s Rise To Vice President Reflects New Opportunities, New Strategies.” The Huffington Post. November 11, 2013. Accessed October 13, 2016. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/11/tefere-gebre-afl-cio_n_4254990.html ^
  48. “What the AFL-CIO Does.” AFL-CIO. Accessed October 13, 2016. http://www.aflcio.org/About/What-the-AFL-CIO-Does ^
  49. AFL-CIO, IRS Form 990, 2014. ^
  50. AFL-CIO, IRS Form 990, 2014. ^
  51. “AFL-CIO LCC: America’s Union Lawyers.” AFLCIO LCC America’s Union Lawyers. Accessed October 13, 2016. http://lcc.aflcio.org/ ^
  52. Lenchner, Charles. “Mobilizing the Unorganized: Is “Working America” the Way Forward?” New Labor Forum. January 27, 2012. Accessed October 12, 2016. http://newlaborforum.cuny.edu/2012/01/27/mobilizing-the-unorganized-is-working-america-the-way-forward/[/note] Working America claims over 3 million members.[note]“Membership and Benefits.” Working America. Accessed October 13, 2016. http://www.workingamerica.org/membership ^
  53. Lenchner, Charles. “Mobilizing the Unorganized: Is “Working America” the Way Forward?” New Labor Forum. January 27, 2012. Accessed October 12, 2016. http://newlaborforum.cuny.edu/2012/01/27/mobilizing-the-unorganized-is-working-america-the-way-forward/ ^
  54. AFL-CIO, Department of Labor Annual Report (Form LM-2), 2016, Schedule 16 ^
  55. American Center for International Labor Solidarity, IRS Form 990, 2014, Part VIII, line 1e ^
  56. “AFL-CIO Working for America Institute Receives $1.37 Million in Apprenticeship Expansion Contract from DOL.” AFL-CIO. September 23, 2016. Accessed October 14, 2016. http://www.aflcio.org/Press-Room/Press-Releases/AFL-CIO-Working-for-America-Institute-Receives-1.37-Million-in-Apprenticeship-Expansion-Contract-from-DOL ^
  57. AFL-CIO Working for America Institute, IRS Form 990, 2014, Part VIII, line 1e ^
  58. The Energy Foundation, IRS Form 990, 2012, Schedule I Part II; Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, IRS Form 990, 2007, Statement 20 Part I Line 25a&d Line 3a&b; ^
  59. “Find a State or Local AFL-CIO.” AFL-CIO. Accessed October 19, 2016. http://www.aflcio.org/Get-Involved/Find-a-State-or-Local-AFL-CIO ^
  60. “AFL-CIO and Change to Win Announce Deal to Preserve Local Labor Unity.” NWLaborPress.org. December 2, 2005. Accessed October 19, 2016. https://nwlaborpress.org/2005/12-2-05-SCharters.html ^
  61. Vernuccio, F. Vincent. “The UFOs Have Landed and They Are Here to Represent You.” Mackinac Center. November 15, 2013. Accessed October 19, 2016. https://www.mackinac.org/19367 ^
  62. “AFL-CIO Unions.” AFL-CIO. Accessed November 9, 2017. http://www.aflcio.org/About/AFL-CIO-Unions ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Stuart Appelbaum
    Member, Executive Council
  2. Rose Ann Demoro
    Member, Executive Council
  3. Leo W Gerard
    Member, Executive Council
  4. Cecil Roberts
    Member, Executive Council
  5. Robert A Scardelletti
    Member, Executive Council
  6. Harold A Schaitberger
    Member, Executive Council
  7. James Boland
    Member, Executive Council
  8. Thomas R. Buffenbarger
    Member, Executive Council
  9. David Durkee
    Member, Executive Council
  10. Newton B. Jones
    Member, Executive Council
  11. Gregory Junemann
    Member, Executive Council
  12. Fred Redmond
    Member, Executive Council
  13. Kenneth Rigmaiden
    Member, Executive Council
  14. Fredric Rolando
    Member, Executive Council
  15. Lee Saunders
    Member, Executive Council
  16. Harold Daggett
    Member, Executive Council
  17. Nancy Wohlforth
    Member, Executive Council
  18. Dennis Williams
    Member, Executive Council
  19. John Sweeney
    President Emeritus (1995-2009)
  20. Randi Weingarten
    Member, Executive Council
  21. Baldemar Velasquez
    Member, Executive Council
  22. Joseph B. Uehlein
    Former Director of Strategic Campaigns
  23. Sean McGarvey
    Member, Executive Council
  24. Liz Shuler
    Secretary-Treasurer
  25. Tefere Gebre
    Executive Vice President
  26. Arlene Holt Baker
    Executive Vice President Ameritus (2007-2013)
  27. Jeffrey David Cox
    Member, Executive Council
  28. Jonathan Hiatt
    Chief of Staff / Executive Assistant
  29. Rogelio Flores
    Texas Representative
  30. Michael Sacco
    Member, Executive Council
  31. Michael Goodwin
    Member, Executive Council
  32. James A. Grogan
    Member, Executive Council
  33. Clyde Rivers
    Member, Executive Council
  34. Cindy Estrada
    Member, Executive Council
  35. Bruce Smith
    Member, Executive Council
  36. Diann Woodard
    Member, Executive Council
  37. Jorge Ramirez
    Member, Executive Council
  38. Jeff Vogt
    Former Deputy Director
  39. Loretta Johnson
    Vice President
  40. Clayola Brown
    Former Vice President
  41. Nat Lacour
    Former Vice President
  42. Mike Lux
    Former Executive Vice President
  43. Robert Martinez, Jr.
    Member, Executive Council
  44. Richard Lanigan
    Member, Executive Council
  45. Michael Langford
    Member, Executive Council
  46. Eric Dean
    Member, Executive Council
  47. Tim Canoll
    Member, Executive Council
  48. Sara Nelson
    Member, Executive Council
  49. Joseph Sellers
    Member, Executive Council
  50. Mark Dimondstein
    Member, Executive Council
  51. Bhairavi Desai
    Member, Executive Council
  52. Marc Perrone
    Member, Executive Council
  53. Laura Reyes
    Member, Executive Council
  54. James Callahan
    Member, Executive Council
  55. Larry Hanley
    Member, Executive Council
  56. Donald Taylor
    Member, Executive Council
  57. Terence M. O’Sullivan
    Member, Executive Council
  58. Christopher Shelton
    Member, Executive Council
  59. Matthew Loeb
    Member, Executive Council
  60. DeMaurice F. Smith
    Member, Executive Council
  61. Lori Pelletier
    Member, Executive Council
  62. Lonnie Stephenson
    Member, Executive Council
  63. Keith Mestrich
    Former Researcher
  64. Thea Lee
    Former Deputy Chief of Staff
  65. Michael Podhorzer
    Political Director
  66. Karen Nussbaum
    Assistant to the President
  67. Ken Grossinger
    Former Director, Legislative and Field Operations
  68. Naomi Walker
    Former Director of State Government Relations
  69. Jess Morales-Rocketto
    Former Senior Media Strategist
  70. Norman Hill
    Former Legislative Representative
  71. Kevin Mack
    Former Direct Mail Consultant
  72. Justine Sarver
    Consultant
  73. Steve Rosenthal
    Former Political Director
  74. Eddie Vale
    Former Communications Staffer
  75. Harry Reid
    91 Lifetime Score Recipient
  76. Zack Exley
    Former Organizer

Child Organizations

  1. A. Philip Randolph Educational Fund (Non-profit)
  2. A. Philip Randolph Institute (APRI) (Non-profit)
  3. Air Line Pilots Association (Labor Union)
  4. Amalgamated Transit Union (Labor Union)
  5. American Center for International Labor Solidarity (Solidarity Center) (Labor Union)
  6. American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) (Labor Union)
  7. American Federation of Musicians (Labor Union)
  8. American Federation of School Administrators (Labor Union)
  9. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) (Labor Union)
  10. American Federation of Teachers (AFT) (Labor Union)
  11. American Postal Workers Union (Labor Union)
  12. American Radio Association (Labor Union)
  13. American Train Dispatchers Association (Labor Union)
  14. Arizona AFL-CIO (Labor Union)
  15. Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO (APALA) (Labor Union)
  16. Associated Actors and Artistes of America (Labor Union)
  17. Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers’ International Union (BCTGM) (Labor Union)
  18. Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen (Labor Union)
  19. California School Employees Association (Labor Union)
  20. Communications Workers of America (CWA) (Labor Union)
  21. Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC) (Labor Union)
  22. Glass, Molders, Plastics and Allied Workers International Union (GMPIU) (Labor Union)
  23. Hudson Valley Area Labor Federation, AFL-CIO (Labor Union)
  24. International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (Labor Union)
  25. International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) (Labor Union)
  26. International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) (Labor Union)
  27. International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART) (Labor Union)
  28. International Brotherhood of Boilermakers (Labor Union)
  29. International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) (Labor Union)
  30. International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (Labor Union)
  31. International Longshoremen’s Association (Labor Union)
  32. International Union of Allied, Novelty and Production Workers (Labor Union)
  33. International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers (Labor Union)
  34. International Union of Elevator Constructors (Labor Union)
  35. International Union of Journeymen and Allied Trades (Labor Union)
  36. International Union of Operating Engineers (Labor Union)
  37. International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (Labor Union)
  38. International Union of Police Associations (Labor Union)
  39. Labor Coalition for Community Action (LCCA) (Other Group)
  40. AFL-CIO Lawyers Coordinating Committee (Labor Union)
  41. Long Island Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO (Labor Union)
  42. Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (Labor Union)
  43. Maritime Trades Department, AFL-CIO (Labor Union)
  44. Maryland State and D.C. AFL-CIO (Labor Union)
  45. Massachusetts AFL-CIO (Labor Union)
  46. Minnesota AFL-CIO (Labor Union)
  47. National Air Traffic Controllers Association (Labor Union)
  48. National Association of Letter Carriers (Labor Union)
  49. National Nurses United (Labor Union)
  50. New Jersey State AFL-CIO (Labor Union)
  51. New York Hotel Trades Council (Labor Union)
  52. New York State AFL-CIO (Labor Union)
  53. New York Taxi Workers Alliance (NTWA) (Labor Union)
  54. NFL Players Association (Labor Union)
  55. North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU) (Labor Union)
  56. North Carolina State AFL-CIO (Labor Union)
  57. Office and Professional Employees International Union (Labor Union)
  58. Ohio AFL-CIO (Labor Union)
  59. Pride at Work (Non-profit)
  60. SAG-AFTRA (Labor Union)
  61. Screen Actors Guild (SAG) (Labor Union)
  62. Seafarers International Union (Labor Union)
  63. Texas AFL-CIO (Labor Union)
  64. Transport Workers Union of America (Labor Union)
  65. Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (Labor Union)
  66. Union Label and Service Trades Department, AFL-CIO (Labor Union)
  67. Union Sportsmen’s Alliance (Non-profit)
  68. Unite Here (Labor Union)
  69. United Association (UA) (Labor Union)
  70. United Auto Workers (UAW) (Labor Union)
  71. United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) (Labor Union)
  72. United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) (Labor Union)
  73. United Steelworkers (USW) (Labor Union)
  74. United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers (Labor Union)
  75. Utility Workers Union of America (Labor Union)
  76. Virginia AFL-CIO (Labor Union)
  77. Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO (Labor Union)
  78. Working America (Labor Union)
  79. Writers Guild of America, East (Labor Union)

Donation Recipients

  1. 9to5, National Association of Working Women (Non-profit)
  2. A. Philip Randolph Institute (APRI) (Non-profit)
  3. Advancement Project (Non-profit)
  4. Alliance for Retired Americans (Non-profit)
  5. American Center for International Labor Solidarity (Solidarity Center) (Labor Union)
  6. American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) (Non-profit)
  7. American Prospect (Non-profit)
  8. American Rights at Work (Non-profit)
  9. Americans for Economic Growth (Non-profit)
  10. Americans for Financial Reform (Non-profit)
  11. Americans United for Change (AUFC) (Non-profit)
  12. Analyst Institute (For-profit)
  13. Ballot Initiative Strategy Center (Non-profit)
  14. Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI) (Non-profit)
  15. CASA de Maryland (Non-profit)
  16. Center for American Progress Action Fund (CAP Action) (Non-profit)
  17. Center for Economic and Policy Research (Non-profit)
  18. Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) (Non-profit)
  19. Center for Popular Democracy (CPD) (Non-profit)
  20. Center for Popular Democracy (CPD) Action Fund (Non-profit)
  21. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) (Non-profit)
  22. Coalition for Better Trade (Non-profit)
  23. Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (Labor Union)
  24. Committee on States (Other Group)
  25. Common Cause Education Fund (Non-profit)
  26. Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (Non-profit)
  27. Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (Non-profit)
  28. Consumer Federation of America (Non-profit)
  29. Democracy Alliance (DA) (Other Group)
  30. Demos (Non-profit)
  31. Economic Policy Institute (EPI) (Non-profit)
  32. Gamaliel Foundation (Non-profit)
  33. International Trade Union Confederation (Labor Union)
  34. Koreatown Immigrant Workers Alliance (Non-profit)
  35. Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (Non-profit)
  36. Labor Project for Working Families (Non-profit)
  37. Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Non-profit)
  38. Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights (LCCHR) (Non-profit)
  39. Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (Non-profit)
  40. National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) (Non-profit)
  41. National Academy of Social Insurance (Non-profit)
  42. National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (Non-profit)
  43. National Day Laborer Organizing Network (Non-profit)
  44. National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) (Non-profit)
  45. National Labor College (Non-profit)
  46. National Public Pension Coalition (Non-profit)
  47. National Women’s Law Center (Non-profit)
  48. NEO Philanthropy (Non-profit)
  49. Netroots Nation (Non-profit)
  50. New Venture Fund (NVF) (Non-profit)
  51. New World Foundation (NWF) (Non-profit)
  52. Faith In Action (Non-profit)
  53. Peggy Browning Fund (Non-profit)
  54. People’s Action Institute (Non-profit)
  55. Policy Matters Ohio (Non-profit)
  56. Pride at Work (Non-profit)
  57. Progress Michigan (Non-profit)
  58. Roosevelt Institute (Non-profit)
  59. Sixteen Thirty Fund (Non-profit)
  60. Solidago Foundation (Non-profit)
  61. SourceWatch (Other Group)
  62. State Voices (Non-profit)
  63. Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) (Non-profit)
  64. Funders Committee for Civic Participation (FCCP) (Non-profit)
  65. Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership (Non-profit)
  66. UltraViolet (Non-profit)
  67. Union Sportsmen’s Alliance (Non-profit)
  68. United Association for Labor Education (Non-profit)
  69. United States Student Association (Non-profit)
  70. United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS) (Other Group)
  71. USAction (Non-profit)
  72. Voter Participation Center (Non-profit)
  73. VoteVets Action Fund (Non-profit)
  74. Voto Latino (Non-profit)
  75. Working America (Labor Union)
  See an error? Let us know!

Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: June - May
  • Tax Exemption Received: May 1, 1956

  • 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
    2016 Jun Form 990 $154,802,418 $148,981,874 $83,215,600 $80,961,618 Y $2,963,850 $76,635,110 $767,651 $1,335,144
    2015 Jun Form 990 $152,131,139 $156,078,576 $82,665,287 $84,348,000 Y $2,956,718 $78,475,233 $849,482 $1,370,975 PDF
    2014 Jun Form 990 $158,967,205 $157,489,514 $89,513,353 $88,020,842 Y $3,381,850 $84,733,788 $815,042 $1,467,867 PDF
    2013 Jun Form 990 $158,033,223 $167,398,506 $88,960,558 $91,262,511 Y $2,519,500 $71,283,546 $1,133,267 $1,662,372 PDF
    2012 Jun Form 990 $164,339,352 $156,191,336 $97,857,455 $91,695,746 Y $8,728,580 $74,512,364 $1,221,348 $1,081,821 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO)

    815 16TH ST NW
    WASHINGTON, DC 20006-4101