Labor Union

New York City Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO

Website:

www.nycclc.org/

Location:

NEW YORK, NY

Tax ID:

13-5675894

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(5)

Budget (2020):

Revenue: $3,076,890
Expenses: $2,169,518
Assets: $3,445,128

New York City Central Labor Council (NYCCLC) is a regional representative body of labor unions under the AFL-CIO representing labor unions in metropolitan New York City. NYCCLC is the largest regional labor union federation, representing over 1.3 million workers — equivalent to approximately 15 percent of the total AFL-CIO membership across the nation.

The council is comprised of over 300 local unions of New York City and is an important player in New York City politics. It predominantly endorses left-of-center to far-left Democratic candidates for public office as well as left-of-center policies at the state, local and federal levels. The council is also closely affiliated with the New York State AFL-CIO. [1] [2]

Background

The New York City Central Labor Council (NYC CLC) was formed in 1957 as the result of a merging of local New York City labor federations following the merger of the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations to form the AFL-CIO. The first president of the council was Harry Van Arsdale Jr., a notable figure in the 20th century national labor movement, who served as president of the NYC CLC until his death in 1986. [3]

While president of the council, Van Arsdale was credited with expanding the labor movement throughout New York City. During the 1960s and 1970s the council, under Van Arsdale’s leadership, gave support to the development of many now-prominent New York City unions such as United Federation of Teachers, Hospital Workers Union Local 1199 and the Municipal Workers in the City of New York. Van Arsdale was credited to even a greater extent with unionizing the Taxi Drivers in New York City, what is now Local 3036 of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). [4]

Van Arsdale also led the NYC CLC to establish a Black Trade Unionist’s Leadership Committee and a Hispanic Labor Committee as vehicles for minority populations to have input within the council. He also established the council’s Community Service Program and Rehabilitation Programs. [5]

In 1968, the NYC CLC began a drive to establish a labor college in New York City. The CLC negotiated with the State University system of New York State as well as Cornell University to launch a labor college program in 1971 at the newly established State University of New York (SUNY) Empire State College. It has since allowed union members and leadership to attend programs within the college that grant associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees in labor studies. [6]

Composition and Activity

The New York City Central Labor Council is the largest municipal union council or regional labor federation affiliated with the AFL-CIO. The council represents over 300 individual labor unions and over 1.3 million employees, a sizeable portion of the national AFL-CIO’s 11 million total members. At times throughout its history, the council has represented over 15 percent of all AFL-CIO members. [7]

Unions represented by the council represent virtually every industrial sector, including teachers, truck drivers, operating engineers, nurses, construction workers, electricians, firefighters, retail workers, janitors, train operators, and bakers. [8]

Political Activity

Endorsements

The New York City Central Labor Council issues endorsements in local, state, and federal elections. As with other labor organizations, the council exerts significant influence over the politics of New York City, often endorsing left-of-center to far-left pro-labor union candidates in Democratic primaries. It almost exclusively endorses Democratic candidates at all levels. The council boasts that its get-out-the-vote efforts and endorsements reach over 1 million voting households in New York City. [9]

During the 2021 local election in New York City, the NYC CLC endorsed candidates for various offices in local government including 47 candidates for city council and borough presidencies. The council also endorsed the city-wide Democratic slate of Eric Adams for Mayor, Jumaane Williams for public advocate, and Brad Lander for comptroller. [10] The council only endorsed incumbent mayor Eric Adams following him earning the Democratic nomination. [11]

Policy Stances

The New York City Central Labor Council supports many left-of-center policies on topics including the environment, housing, jobs, immigration, and healthcare. [12]

The NYC CLC is part of the Climate Jobs NY coalition of labor unions promoting a “clean energy economy” and a “low carbon economy.” The council supports many left-of-center environmentalist policies such as wind-reliant energy and claims on its website that “there is major job creation potential from tackling the climate crisis, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and transitioning to a low carbon, sustainable economy.” [13]

The NYC CLC also supports left-of-center health care policies. The council’s website calls healthcare a “basic human right” and calls the Affordable Care Act a historic milestone. It also endorses taxpayer-funded government-run health care in the form of “Medicare for All” policy proposals. [14]

The NYC CLC also supports left-of-center immigration policies and calls current U.S. immigration policy “a blueprint for employer manipulation and abuse.” [15]

People

The President of the New York City Central Labor Council is Vincent “Vinny” Alvarez, who has held the position since 2011. Previously he worked as assistant to the executive director and then chief of staff of the NYC CLC. Alvarez is the first president of the council to hold the role full time. [16]

Alvarez is also an appointed director of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, a vice president of the Consortium for Worker Education, a principal officer of Climate Jobs NY, and a director of the Climate Jobs National Resource Center. He is on the board of directors of the Association for a Better New York (ABNY), the New York Building Congress, and the AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust. [17]

2008 Embezzlement Scandal

In 2008, the then-president of the New York City Central Labor Council, Brian McLaughlin, who also served in the state legislature, was charged with several racketeering charges that included using embezzlement, fraud, and bribes to siphon money from taxpayers, labor unions, contractors, and even from a Little League baseball team in Queens. Prosecutors charged that McLaughlin misappropriated more than $330,000 from his own re-election committee, $185,000 from the New York City Central Labor Council, and more than $35,000 from the State Assembly. Prosecutors also said he had created fictitious jobs within the labor council and on his own legislative staff, and took kickbacks from the jobholders. McLaughlin pled guilty to charges and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. [18]

In response to McLaughlin’s conviction the NYC CLC stated that it had “moved forward as a stronger, more accountable labor organization,” and had “made the necessary reforms to protect our integrity and increase transparency and reporting measures.” [19]

References

  1. “About Us.” New York City Central Labor Council. Accessed August 10, 2022. https://www.nycclc.org/about-us ^
  2. “2022 Endorsements.” New York City Central Labor Council. Accessed August 10, 2022. https://www.nycclc.org/resources/2022-endorsements-candidates-statewide-office-congress-state-senate-assembly ^
  3.  [1] “Biography.” Harry Van Arsdale Jr. Memorial Association https://harryvanarsdalejr.org/biography.htm ^
  4. “Biography.” Harry Van Arsdale Jr. Memorial Association https://harryvanarsdalejr.org/biography.htm ^
  5. “Biography.” Harry Van Arsdale Jr. Memorial Association https://harryvanarsdalejr.org/biography.htm ^
  6. “Biography.” Harry Van Arsdale Jr. Memorial Association https://harryvanarsdalejr.org/biography.htm ^
  7. “Affiliates.” New York City Central Labor Council. Accessed August 10, 2022.  https://www.nycclc.org/resources/affiliates/list?page=3 ^
  8. “Affiliates.” New York City Central Labor Council. Accessed August 10, 2022.  https://www.nycclc.org/resources/affiliates/list?page=3 ^
  9. “NYC Central Labor Council Makes New Endorsements in 2021 General Election Races.” New York City Central Labor Council. October 2021. Accessed August 10, 2022. https://www.nycclc.org/news/2021-10/nyc-central-labor-council-makes-new-endorsements-2021-general-election-races ^
  10. “NYC Central Labor Council Makes New Endorsements in 2021 General Election Races.” New York City Central Labor Council. October 2021. Accessed August 10, 2022. https://www.nycclc.org/news/2021-10/nyc-central-labor-council-makes-new-endorsements-2021-general-election-races ^
  11. Kreiger, Silver. “Inside the New York City Central Labor Council’s Endorsement Process.” Labor Press. October 19, 2021. Accessed August 10, 2022. https://www.laborpress.org/inside-the-new-york-city-central-labor-councils-endorsement-process/ ^
  12. “Climate.” New York City Central Labor Council. Accessed August 10, 2022.  https://www.nycclc.org/issue/climate ^
  13. “Climate.” New York City Central Labor Council. Accessed August 10, 2022.  https://www.nycclc.org/issue/climate ^
  14. “Healthcare.” New York City Central Labor Council. Accessed August 10, 2022.  https://www.nycclc.org/issue/health-care ^
  15. “Immigration.” New York City Central Labor Council. Accessed August 10, 2022.   https://www.nycclc.org/issue/immigration ^
  16. “Vincent Alvarez.” New York City Central Labor Council. Accessed August 10, 2022.  https://www.nycclc.org/about-us/officers/vincent-alvarez ^
  17. “Vincent Alvarez.” New York City Central Labor Council. Accessed August 10, 2022.  https://www.nycclc.org/about-us/officers/vincent-alvarez ^
  18. Weiser, Benjamin. “Ex-Labor Leader Is Sentenced to 10 Years for Racketeering.” New York Times. May 20, 2009. Accessed August 10, 2022. https://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/21/nyregion/21sentence.html ^
  19. Weiser, Benjamin. “Ex-Labor Leader Is Sentenced to 10 Years for Racketeering.” New York Times. May 20, 2009. Accessed August 10, 2022. https://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/21/nyregion/21sentence.html ^
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • 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
    2020 Dec Form 990 $3,076,890 $2,169,518 $3,445,128 $978,271 N $56,250 $2,758,073 $10,843 $255,409
    2019 Dec Form 990 $2,961,249 $2,806,969 $1,553,189 $146 N $56,250 $2,770,220 $13,647 $267,080 PDF
    2018 Dec Form 990 $2,761,975 $2,752,378 $1,391,504 $1,002 N $105,501 $2,506,827 $14,475 $465,800 PDF
    2017 Dec Form 990 $2,593,130 $2,617,901 $1,385,548 $137 N $61,500 $2,350,887 $12,398 $452,763 PDF
    2016 Dec Form 990 $2,666,505 $2,566,316 $1,409,775 $182 N $111,500 $2,342,996 $10,801 $444,163
    2015 Dec Form 990 $2,274,024 $2,365,733 $1,310,786 $128 N $75,000 $2,123,176 $10,288 $425,645 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $2,407,444 $2,524,030 $1,405,286 $170 N $100,000 $2,192,273 $8,616 $412,724 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990 $2,534,934 $2,887,261 $1,517,357 $170 N $100,000 $2,168,097 $10,442 $387,959 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $2,228,885 $2,162,273 $1,878,102 $0 N $0 $2,075,700 $11,006 $378,488 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $1,956,468 $1,760,227 $1,811,658 $263 N $0 $1,990,260 $16,324 $238,447 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    New York City Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO

    275 SEVENTH AVE 18TH FLR
    NEW YORK, NY 10001-6721