Labor Union

New York State AFL-CIO

Location:

ALBANY, NY

Tax ID:

14-0923720

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(5)

Budget (2019):

Revenue: $7,123,090
Expenses: $6,204,619
Assets: $7,816,760

Website:

http://nysaflcio.org

Founded:

1958

President:

Mario Cilento

The New York State AFL-CIO is a state chapter of the AFL-CIO, the largest association of labor unions in the United States. The chapter represent New York-based labor unions by advocating for better employee benefits, pro-union legislation, and left-of-center political causes. [1]

The New York AFL-CIO has supported federal legislation that would expand the power of organized labor, restrict the ability of employers to respond to unionization efforts and strikes, and force all employees in unionized workplaces to fund union activities. [2]

The state federation has broken with the national AFL-CIO over campaign finance, opposing proposed legislation that would expand government financing of election campaigns. [3]

Political Activism

In addition to promoting the interests of its members in labor disputes, the New York State AFL-CIO has been involved in a broad range of state political issues and left-of-center activist causes.

Governor Andrew Cuomo

The New York AFL-CIO endorsed the 2018 re-election bid of then-Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY), with state federation president Mario Cilento calling him a “champion” for “working men and women.” [4] Three years later, Cilento reversed course and called on the governor to resign due to the sexual harassment allegations against him. [5] Soon afterwards, the New York AFL-CIO came out in support of Cuomo’s replacement and previous lieutenant governor Kathy Hochul (D). Cilento joined her at a press conference celebrating the NY HERO Act, a law signed by Cuomo for pandemic protocols. Hochul had directed state health officials to formally consider the COVID-19 pandemic a crisis, creating a regulatory trigger for stricter COVID-19 regulations. [6]

Campaign Finance

In April 2019, New York AFL-CIO president Mario Cilento issued a statement opposing proposed legislation that would expand public funding of elections and implement other left-of-center restrictions on campaign financing. According to the New York Times, the state federation’s stance conflicted with that of the national AFL-CIO, as well as that of numerous left-progressive activists and Democratic Party politicians in the state. The Times also pointed out that labor unions, including the New York AFL-CIO, are typically strong allies to Democrats and among the largest contributors to political campaigns in the state. [7]

Gig Worker Unionization

In May 2021, a proposed law which would have allowed some employees in the food delivery and other industries to unionize ran into opposition from labor activists, who typically support the expansion of union power. (App-based gig workers are typically classified as independent contractors, not employees, which limits their ability to join unions.) Representatives of the Hispanic labor activist organization Los Deliveristas Unidos claimed that “this bill isn’t worth it” because the inclusion of certain provisions “erodes worker power.” These provisions included a “labor peace agreement” which would bar gig workers from organizing strikes or demonstrations, and would also make it illegal for local governments to establish a minimum wage for the app-based industry. The Transport Workers Union, an AFL-CIO member, also came out in support of workers who were opposed to the measure. The state federation, however, did not withdraw its support for the bill, which ultimately failed and was not advanced by the July 2021 deadline. [8] [9]

State Constitutional Amendments

The New York AFL-CIO opposed the 2017 ballot measure on holding a state constitutional convention. At the same time, the federation endorsed a 2021 campaign pushing for an amendment to the state constitution that would require authorities to act on left-of-center environmentalist initiatives. In a statement, federation president Mario Cilento called on union members to support the ballot measure and claimed that the proposed amendment would “create solid middle-class jobs.” [10]

Federal Labor Legislation

In September 2021, the New York AFL-CIO endorsed the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act. This proposed law would expand the power of organized labor by implementing new fines against employers, limit their ability to respond to strikes, and prohibit them from holding mandatory meetings to discuss unionization proposals with employees. It would also override state-level right to work laws, which allow employees who do not wish to join a union not to fund its activities. [11]

Leadership

Mario Cilento is the president of the New York State AFL-CIO. He has worked for the state federation since 1992 and was elected president in 2011. Since 1990, Cilento has been a member of the Communications Workers of America (CWA), the national labor union representing employees in the telecommunications, journalism, and other related industries. [12]

The CWA leans further left than most labor unions: in 2016, it endorsed Vermont senator and self-described democratic socialist Bernie Sanders for president, while the AFL-CIO endorsed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. [13] [14]

The New York AFL-CIO highlights Cilento’s role in opposing the 2017 New York state constitutional convention ballot proposal, which, according to some polls, initially had close to 70 percent support. According to the state federation, Cilento mobilized union members and activists to push back against the ballot measure, which was eventually defeated at the polls. Cilento also played a leading role in pushing for more pro-union legislation in New York in response to the 2018 Supreme Court case Janus v. AFSCME. [15] The court ruled that government employees who were not members of their respective public-sector unions could not be compelled to pay union dues as a condition of their employment. [16]

Terrence Melvin is the secretary-treasurer of the New York AFL-CIO and has held the position since 2007. He started his career in the labor movement in 1980, when he joined the Civil Service Employees Association, a major labor union for both public- and private-sector employees in the state of New York. As secretary-treasurer, Melvin has overseen initiatives to connect the state federation and its member unions with left-of-center religious and activist organizations. [17]

Financials

In 2019, the New York State AFL-CIO generated more than $7 million in revenue, overwhelmingly from union dues and other program service fees. The state federation’s expenses totaled approximately $6.2 million, with more than $900,000 going towards leadership salaries and more than $2.6 million going towards other staff compensation and employment benefits. [18]

References

  1. “AFL-CIO – New York State AFL-CIO.” CauseIQ. Accessed October 9, 2021. https://www.causeiq.com/organizations/afl-cio-new-york-state-afl-cio,140923720/ ^
  2. Nick Reisman. “Advocates launch push for environmental amendment to New York’s constitution.” Spectrum News. July 27, 2021. Accessed October 9, 2021. https://spectrumlocalnews.com/nys/central-ny/ny-state-of-politics/2021/07/27/advocates-launch-push-for-environmental-amendment-to-new-york-s-constitution- ^
  3. Vivian Wang and J. David Goodman. “Democrats in N.Y. Find Unexpected Foe in Campaign Finance Overhaul.” The New York Times. April 29, 2019. Accessed October 9, 2021. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/29/nyregion/unions-public-financing-elections.html ^
  4. “NYS AFL-CIO Endorses Andrew Cuomo for Governor.” New York State AFL-CIO. July 5, 2018. Accessed October 9, 2021. https://nysaflcio.org/news/nys-afl-cio-endorses-andrew-cuomo-governor ^
  5. Denis Slattery and Clayton Guse. “Labor allies ditch Cuomo following AG report on sexual harassment investigation.” New York Daily News. August 4, 2021. Accessed October 9, 2021. https://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/new-york-elections-government/ny-cuomo-sexual-harassment-ag-report-labor-allies-defect-20210804-lmhqzguszrd7rcb4aahxbd7jcm-story.html ^
  6. “Senate Deputy Leader Gianaris, Governor Kathy Hochul Together Highlight NY HERO Act.” The New York State Senate. September 9, 2021. Accessed October 9, 2021. https://www.nysenate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/michael-gianaris/senate-deputy-leader-gianaris-governor-kathy-hochul ^
  7. Vivian Wang and J. David Goodman. “Democrats in N.Y. Find Unexpected Foe in Campaign Finance Overhaul.” The New York Times. April 29, 2019. Accessed October 9, 2021.https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/29/nyregion/unions-public-financing-elections.html ^
  8. Nick Reisman. “Advocates launch push for environmental amendment to New York’s constitution.” Spectrum News. July 27, 2021. Accessed October 9, 2021. https://spectrumlocalnews.com/nys/central-ny/ny-state-of-politics/2021/07/27/advocates-launch-push-for-environmental-amendment-to-new-york-s-constitution- ^
  9. Mario Cilento. “Labor Day 2021 Times Union OpEd.” New York State AFL-CIO. September 6, 2021. Accessed October 9, 2021. https://nysaflcio.org/news/labor-day-2021-times-union-oped ^
  10. Nick Reisman. “Advocates launch push for environmental amendment to New York’s constitution.” Spectrum News. July 27, 2021. Accessed October 9, 2021. https://spectrumlocalnews.com/nys/central-ny/ny-state-of-politics/2021/07/27/advocates-launch-push-for-environmental-amendment-to-new-york-s-constitution- ^
  11. Mario Cilento. “Labor Day 2021 Times Union OpEd.” New York State AFL-CIO. September 6, 2021. Accessed October 9, 2021. https://nysaflcio.org/news/labor-day-2021-times-union-oped ^
  12. “Mario Cilento.” New York State AFL-CIO. Accessed October 9, 2021. https://nysaflcio.org/nys-afl-cio-leadership/mario-cilento ^
  13. Alex Seitz-Wald and Andrea Mitchell. “Bernie Sanders to Nab One of His Biggest Endorsements Yet.” MSNBC. December 16, 2015. Accessed October 9, 2021. http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/bernie-sanders-cwa-endorsement ^
  14. “AFL-CIO Votes to Endorse Hillary Clinton for President.” AFL-CIO. June 16, 2016. Accessed October 9, 2021. https://aflcio.org/press/releases/afl-cio-votes-endorse-hillary-clinton-president ^
  15. “Mario Cilento.” New York State AFL-CIO. Accessed October 9, 2021. https://nysaflcio.org/nys-afl-cio-leadership/mario-cilento ^
  16. “Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31.” Cornell Law School. Accessed October 9, 2021. https://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/cert/16-1466 ^
  17. “Terrence Melvin.” New York State AFL-CIO. Accessed October 9, 2021. https://nysaflcio.org/executive-council/terrence-melvin ^
  18. AFL-CIO – New York State AFL-CIO.” CauseIQ. Accessed October 9, 2021. https://www.causeiq.com/organizations/afl-cio-new-york-state-afl-cio,140923720/ ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Peter Ward
    Vice-President
  2. Terrence Melvin
    Secretary-Treasurer
  3. Stuart Appelbaum
    Executive Council
  See an error? Let us know!

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
    2019 Dec Form 990 $7,123,090 $6,204,619 $7,816,760 $275,678 N $228,607 $6,838,112 $56,371 $922,813 PDF
    2018 Dec Form 990 $7,000,288 $6,720,252 $7,037,360 $414,749 Y $214,270 $6,752,636 $33,382 $923,949 PDF
    2017 Dec Form 990 $6,907,983 $6,393,137 $6,689,926 $347,351 N $156,145 $6,743,406 $8,432 $913,090 PDF
    2016 Dec Form 990 $6,957,473 $6,779,392 $6,002,576 $174,847 N $164,242 $6,792,552 $2,026 $894,974
    2015 Dec Form 990 $3,403,032 $2,915,204 $5,960,956 $312,570 N $0 $3,231,009 $1,720 $452,448 PDF
    2015 Jun Form 990 $6,767,942 $6,818,239 $5,484,455 $322,835 N $0 $6,588,189 $758 $885,902 PDF
    2014 Jun Form 990 $6,581,721 $6,331,328 $5,600,419 $388,302 N $0 $6,414,992 $650 $859,227 PDF
    2013 Jun Form 990 $6,415,878 $6,094,393 $5,136,080 $174,356 N $0 $6,220,164 $806 $830,132 PDF
    2012 Jun Form 990 $6,760,259 $6,279,132 $4,943,316 $303,077 N $0 $6,595,888 $1,273 $978,859 PDF
    2011 Jun Form 990 $6,174,947 $6,505,450 $4,426,050 $266,938 N $0 $6,002,934 $1,784 $802,689 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    New York State AFL-CIO

    100 S SWAN ST
    ALBANY, NY 12210-1939