Labor Union

American Center for International Labor Solidarity (Solidarity Center)

ACILSlogo (link)
Website:

www.solidaritycenter.org

Location:

WASHINGTON, DC

Tax ID:

52-1984713

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(5)

Budget (2016):

Revenue: $30,392,560
Expenses: $30,807,370
Assets: $11,929,442

Formation:

1997

The American Center for International Labor Solidarity (commonly referred to as Solidarity Center) was founded in 1997 by the largest federation of labor unions in the United States, the AFL-CIO. Solidarity Center has offices all over the world and claims to be working with more than 400 labor unions across the globe.[1]

The Solidarity Center receives the majority of its funding from United States government grants. The bulk of these grants come from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).[2] Although it also receives a small amount of funding from other organizations, Solidarity Center’s 2016 990 form reveals that it received $300,000 from related organizations compared to the $29.9 million it received from government grants.[3]

Founding

The Solidarity Center was founded in 1997 the AFL-CIO (American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations). The nonprofit organization is currently working with more than 400 labor unions in over sixty countries around the world.[4] The Solidarity Center is registered with the IRS as a 501(c)(5) labor union.

Before John Sweeney became president of the AFL-CIO in 1995, the federation was more centrist and anti-communist than it is today. Sweeney instigated a reform of the federation when he took leadership; turning it into a more left-wing organization by removing members “who were associated with the old crowd and their Cold War line.”[5]

Funding

According to multiple reports, Solidarity Center receives the majority of its funding from the United States government via grants from organizations such as the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).[6]

Solidarity Center received just under $30 million from government grants in 2004, $29 million in 2005, $29.5 million in 2006, $27 million in 2007, $28.5 million in 2008, $28.9 million in 2009, $28.5 million in 2010, $28.6 million in 2011, $31 million in 2012, $32 million in 2013, $31 million in 2014, and $29.6 million in 2015.[7]

Solidarity Center also receives funding from private foundations. According to the organization’s 2016 990 form, it received $300,000 from related organizations compared to the $29.9 million it received from government grants.[8]

Between 1997 and 2005, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) provided Solidarity Center with a core grant of $9 million annually. The agency then dropped its core funding to $7.5 million annually.[9]

Political Activities

The Solidarity Center operates in more than 60 countries around the world and has around 26 offices in countries such as Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Croatia, Paraguay, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Venezuela.[10]

Far-left organizations and media entities, including the Alliance for Global Justice (AfGJ) and the socialist labor union Industrial Workers of the World, have alleged that Solidarity Center was involved with multiple coups, most notably a failed coup against the leftist regime of Hugo Chavez in 2002 in Venezuela.[11]

Solidarity Center likewise supported a small labor union that wanted to oust then-leader of Haiti Jean-Bertrand Aristide. The organization sent nearly $100,000 to Batay Ouvriye, a labor union which refused to oppose Aristide’s removal from office.[12]

Anti-Israel Bias

One article on Solidarity Center’s website laments that “Attempts at a Palestinian national dialogue have failed to bring unity between the two political parties, Fatah and Hamas.”[13] Fatah is essentially the late Yasser Arafat’s Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), arguably one of the most renowned terrorist organizations in the world, while Hamas is a terrorist group that aims to destroy Israel.[14]

Another article on the website links to a report written by the pro-Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU). The report referred to Israel as the “Zionist entity,” a phrase used by Islamists who deny Israel’s right to exist to refer to the country.[15]

Solidarity Center also wrote an article condemning Israel’s position on ceasefire during the Israeli “Protective Edge” military campaign against Hamas. In the article, Solidarity Center links to multiple anti-Israel labor groups.[16]

Affiliations

The AFL-CIO, the largest federation of labor unions in the U.S., founded the Solidarity Center in 1997 and maintains close affiliation with the nonprofit. Although the AFL-CIO originally began as a more centrist labor federation, it became more left-of-center after John Sweeney took leadership in 1995. Since its controversial current president, Richard Trumka, took over, the federation has become closely aligned with the organizational Left and the Democratic Party.[17]

Leadership

AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka is chair of the board of directors for the Solidarity Center.

John Sweeney is president emeritus of the Center.

References

  1. “Who We Are.” Solidarity Center. Accessed November 29, 2018. https://www.solidaritycenter.org/who-we-are/. ^
  2. Fishman, Phil. “Democracy, Union Made.” The American Interest. June 15, 2015. Accessed November 29, 2018. https://www.the-american-interest.com/2007/09/01/democracy-union-made/. ^
  3. “Solidarity Center 2016 990.” Nonprofit Explorer. May 09, 2013. Accessed November 29, 2018. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/521984713/201733119349302758/IRS990. ^
  4. “Who We Are.” Solidarity Center. Accessed November 29, 2018. https://www.solidaritycenter.org/who-we-are/. ^
  5. Rodberg, Simon. “The CIO without the CIA.” The American Prospect. December 19, 2001. Accessed November 29, 2018. http://prospect.org/article/cio-without-cia. ^
  6. Fishman, Phil. “Democracy, Union Made.” The American Interest. June 15, 2015. Accessed November 29, 2018. https://www.the-american-interest.com/2007/09/01/democracy-union-made/. ^
  7. “Solidarity Center.” Nonprofit Explorer. Accessed November 29, 2018. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/521984713. ^
  8. “Solidarity Center 2016 990.” Nonprofit Explorer. May 09, 2013. Accessed November 29, 2018. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/521984713/201733119349302758/IRS990. ^
  9. Fishman, Phil. “Democracy, Union Made.” The American Interest. June 15, 2015. Accessed November 29, 2018. https://www.the-american-interest.com/2007/09/01/democracy-union-made/. ^
  10. Scipes, Kim. “The 2002 Coup in Venezuela: Was the AFL-CIO Involved? -.” Industrial Workers of the World. September 26, 2006. Accessed November 29, 2018. https://www.iww.org/node/2891. ^
  11. Scipes, Kim. “The 2002 Coup in Venezuela: Was the AFL-CIO Involved? -.” Industrial Workers of the World. September 26, 2006. Accessed November 29, 2018. https://www.iww.org/node/2891. ^
  12. Scipes, Kim. “Worker-to-Worker Solidarity Committee to AFL-CIO: Cut All Ties with NED.” MR Online. January 25, 2018. Accessed November 29, 2018. https://mronline.org/2006/04/29/worker-to-worker-solidarity-committee-to-afl-cio-cut-all-ties-with-ned/. ^
  13. “Palestine.” Solidarity Center. Accessed November 29, 2018. https://www.solidaritycenter.org/where-we-work/middle-east-north-africa/palestine/. ^
  14. Lockie, Alex. “Hamas, an Anti-Israel Terror Group, Is Enjoying a Huge Propaganda Boost from the Gaza Protests.” Business Insider. May 15, 2018. Accessed November 29, 2018. http://uk.businessinsider.com/hamas-israel-gaza-protests-2018-5?r=US&IR=T. ^
  15. Harrod, Andrew. “Look for Jihad’s Union Label.” Capital Research Center. May 10, 2017. Accessed November 29, 2018. https://capitalresearch.org/article/look-for-jihads-union-label/. ^
  16. Harrod, Andrew. “Look for Jihad’s Union Label.” Capital Research Center. May 10, 2017. Accessed November 29, 2018. https://capitalresearch.org/article/look-for-jihads-union-label/. ^
  17. “AFL-CIO.” Influence Watch. Accessed November 29, 2018. https://www.influencewatch.org/labor-union/afl-cio/. ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Jeff Vogt
    Legal Director
  2. Molly McCoy
    Policy Director
  3. Mary Markowicz
    Program Director
  4. Shawna Bader-Blau
    Executive Director
  5. Joslyn Williams
    Board Member
  6. Terrence Melvin
    Board Member
  7. Michael Leslie
    Former Program Officer
  8. Art Pulaski
    Board Member
  9. John Sweeney
    Board Member and President Emeritus
  10. Tefere Gebre
    Board Member
  11. Liz Shuler
    Board Secretary-Treasurer
  12. Richard Trumka
    Board Chair
  13. Jeff Hermanson
    Former Senior Advisor
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: April 1, 1997

  • 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 Dec Form 990 $30,392,560 $30,807,370 $11,929,442 $12,387,437 N $30,276,993 $0 $88,215 $628,247
    2015 Dec Form 990 $30,115,059 $30,797,120 $9,617,669 $10,719,879 N $29,998,228 $0 $114,510 $617,737 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $31,825,714 $32,392,632 $10,299,029 $11,930,740 N $31,771,181 $0 $76,052 $521,391
    2013 Dec Form 990 $32,542,664 $32,841,157 $10,542,183 $11,818,739 N $32,440,740 $0 $108,206 $611,643 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $31,684,508 $32,063,574 $10,184,884 $12,476,073 N $31,487,492 $0 $103,341 $573,470 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $28,981,307 $29,861,922 $9,987,619 $12,585,419 N $28,862,918 $0 $109,331 $533,504 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    American Center for International Labor Solidarity (Solidarity Center)

    1130 CT AVE NW 800
    WASHINGTON, DC 20036-0000