Labor Union

Office and Professional Employees International Union

OPEIU logo (link)



Tax ID:


Tax-Exempt Status:


Budget (2020):

Revenue: $18,564,567
Expenses: $14,132,731
Assets: $29,382,966


Labor Union



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The Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) is a trade union representing white-collar clerical and office workers in the public and private sectors. It is notable for its efforts to organize university student workers, nonprofit employees, and high-tech workers. It is a member of the AFL-CIO labor union federation. 1


In 1906, Local 1 in Indianapolis, Indiana, received the first clerical federal charter issued by the American Federation of Labor (AFL) for a union for office stenographers, typists, bookkeepers, and assistants. Over the next four decades multiple clerical locals were chartered by the AFL. In 1945, these locals received a charter from the AFL as the Office Employees International Union, representing about 22,000 clerical workers nationwide. In 1965, the union changed its name to the Office and Professional Employees International Union. 2

OPEIU represents more than 100,000 employees and independent contractors in banking and credit unions, insurance companies, higher education, shipping, hospitals, medical clinics, utilities, transportation, hotels, administrative offices, nonprofit organizations, and other industries. 3 In 1992, the union absorbed the Leather Workers’ International Union of America. 4 In 2010, the Association of Minor League Umpires, the labor union that represents Minor League Baseball umpires, voted to join OPEIU. 5

OPEIU was among the national unions that provided volunteer assistance and other support to workers organizing the Amazon Labor Union, which remains independent. 6

Effort to Organize University Resident Assistants

In October 2022, resident assistants (RAs) working in undergraduate dormitories at Barnard College in Boston voted to form a union and affiliate with Office and Professional Employees International Union Local 153. The RAs—who only receive a housing credit and no pay or benefits—asserted that although the job was not supposed to exceed 20 hours work per week, they were required to stay on campus through weekends and holidays, attend unpaid annual training and weekly mandatory staff meetings, hold one-on-one counseling sessions with each of their residents, design and create monthly bulletin boards, hold monthly programs, and work weekly overnight shifts in addition to their academic responsibilities. They also claimed that they were discouraged from joining clubs or volunteer activities and required to disclose all extracurricular responsibilities to the university. 7

Barnard declined to recognize the union, which filed a petition for recognition with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). 8

In November 2022, 140 resident assistants at Tufts University in Boston voted to form a union and affiliate with OPEIU Local 153. The workers said that they had received no salary or benefits and were only paid in housing credits despite being required to attend 80 annual hours of training for which they were not paid. They were also concerned about their contracts, which purportedly gave the university substantial discretion to set their hours and duties with little input from workers. 9

Despite support from the Tufts Community Union Senate and the local city councils of Medford and Somerville, Massachusetts, all of which passed resolutions urging Tufts to recognize the union voluntarily, the university declined to recognize the union. OPEIU then filed a petition for recognition with the NLRB. 10

OPEIU Local 153, the union’s largest local, represents clerical and office workers at more than two dozen institutions of higher education, including Adelphi University, Fordham University, Manhattan College, and New York University’s Tandon School of Engineering. 11

Nonprofit Workplace Organizing

In recent years, the Office and Professional Employees International Union has “made substantial progress in organizing employees of nonprofit organizations.” 12 In October 2022, 83 percent of workers at the Glide Foundation, a San Francisco organization that assists homeless and low-income people in the city’s Tenderloin District, voted to form a union and affiliate with OPEIU Local 2. The nonprofit opposed the unionization drive, asserting that it thought it best to “remain union free and in a direct relationship with our staff.” 13

Later that month, workers at one of San Francisco’s oldest social services nonprofits, Compass Family Services, voted 63 to 21 to unionize and affiliate with OPEIU Local 29. Founded in 1914, Compass assists homeless families in San Francisco with shelter and financial assistance. Workers at Compass cited low wages that made it impossible to survive the city’s high cost of living as the cause of the organizing drive. 14

Tech Industry Organizing

In 2021, the Office and Professional Employees International Union announced formation of its Tech Workers Union Local 1010, which seeks to organize white-collar workers at tech industry companies in New York City and the surrounding region. 15 Responding to criticism that tech workers are highly compensated and don’t need union representation, OPEIU official Grace Reckers stated, “A lot of people argue that tech employees tend to be well paid with great benefits, and that is true for a lot of people. But there is a whole group of employees that is not the case for. We are trying to fight for equality for all employees.” 16

The tech industry effort was unveiled after OPEIU won recognition of a bargaining unit made up of 85 engineers, directors, analysts, designers, coordinators, and customer support specialists at Brooklyn-based online fundraising platform Kickstarter in February 2020. The campaign was marked by accusations that the company had retaliated by firing two workers who had been associated with the organizing drive. 17 As reported by Slate, the unionization drive began after employees protested the company’s cancellation of a fundraiser for a comic book titled Always Punch Nazis as a violation of the company’s prohibition on encouraging violence. The comic book referred to an incident in which white nationalist Richard Spencer was punched in the face during a television interview. 18


The president of the Office and Professional Employees International Union is Richard Lanigan. He joined OPEIU Local 153 as an organizer in 1980 and, after attending law school, served as an assistant to the OPEIU general counsel. In 1994, he was elected secretary-treasurer of Local 153 and international vice president. He also serves on the executive council of the labor federation AFL-CIO. 19

Mary Mahoney is secretary-treasurer of OPEIU. Raised in a union family, Mahoney has been a member of Local 6 in Boston, Massachusetts, for nearly 38 years and has served as president of that local—which is largely comprised of employees of the Massachusetts Trial Court—since 1995. Mahoney is an executive committee member of the Department for Professional Employees of the AFL-CIO. 20


  1. “Our Affiliated Unions: AFL-CIO.” AFL. Accessed December 22, 2022.
  2. “Our History.” Office and Professional Employees International Union. Accessed Dec. 7, 2022.
  3. “Our History.” Office and Professional Employees International Union. Accessed Dec. 7, 2022.
  4. “Inactive Organizations.” U.Md. Labor. Accessed Dec. 7, 2022.
  5. “Our History.” Office and Professional Employees International Union. Accessed Dec. 7, 2022.
  6. [1] Jacob Bogage. “National unions want to be part of the action at Amazon.” Washington Post. April 25, 2022.
  7. “Barnard RAs deliver petition signatures from 95% of their coworkers asking for union recognition.” OPEIU Local 153. Oct. 3, 2022.
  8. Talia Bloom. “Barnard Declines To Voluntarily Recognize The Barnard RA Union.” Oct. 17, 2022.
  9. Aaron Gruen and Emily Thompson. “BREAKING: RAs declare intent to form union, ask university for voluntary recognition.” Tufts Daily. Nov. 8, 2022.
  10. Ari Navetta. “After Tufts denied request for union recognition, here’s what’s next for Ras.” Tufts Daily. Nov. 17, 2022.
  11. “Where OPEIU Local 153 members work.” OPEIU Local 153. Accessed Dec. 10, 2022.
  12. “Collective Bargaining for Nonprofit Organizations.” Steptoe & Johnson. JDSupra Blog. April 4, 2022.
  13. Margaret Hetherwick. “Glide nonprofit workers win union election by a landslide.” San Francisco Examiner. Nov. 11, 2022.
  14.  Yujie Zhou. “One of SF’s oldest nonprofits will soon have a union.” Mission Local. Nov. 29, 2022.
  15. OPEIU Launches Tech Workers Union Local 1010 to Raise Standards for Tech Industry Employees.” OPEIU. Accessed Dec. 10, 2022.
  16. Ryan Defenbaugh. “Union plans push into New York’s tech industry.” Crain’s New York. Jan. 27, 2021.
  17. “Kickstarter employees vote to unionize.” The Verge. Feb. 18, 2020.
  18. April Glaser. “Kickstarter’s Year of Turmoil.” Slate. Sept. 12, 2019.
  19. Our National Leaders.” Office and Professional Employees International Union. Accessed Dec. 27, 2022.
  20. “Our National Leaders.” Office and Professional Employees International Union. Accessed Dec. 27, 2022.

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Nancy Wohlforth
    International Secretary-Treasurer
  2. Michael Goodwin
    Business Manager, OPEIU Local 153
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: February - January
  • Tax Exemption Received: April 1, 1946

  • 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 Feb Form 990 $18,564,567 $14,132,731 $29,382,966 $27,894 N $0 $17,966,788 $424,875 $1,075,050
    2019 Feb Form 990 $17,950,865 $12,949,615 $24,931,852 $3,973 N $0 $17,501,613 $188,381 $1,056,399 PDF
    2018 Feb Form 990 $17,589,223 $14,096,831 $20,008,304 $1,823 N $0 $17,140,590 $53,636 $1,031,236
    2017 Feb Form 990 $17,633,252 $15,685,381 $16,522,451 $8,362 N $0 $17,040,194 $33,819 $1,063,242
    2016 Feb Form 990 $17,340,625 $15,075,857 $14,769,392 $203,174 N $0 $16,818,402 $117,503 $1,158,169 PDF
    2015 Feb Form 990 $16,657,650 $15,037,773 $12,414,751 $113,301 N $0 $16,326,881 $52,823 $1,084,083 PDF
    2014 Feb Form 990 $15,556,602 $18,136,054 $11,114,684 $433,111 N $0 $15,244,493 $51,121 $875,566 PDF
    2013 Feb Form 990 $15,522,495 $14,159,939 $13,313,192 $52,167 N $0 $15,061,181 $77,143 $910,652 PDF
    2012 Feb Form 990 $14,918,334 $15,553,303 $12,108,729 $210,260 N $0 $14,417,327 $101,807 $871,675 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Office and Professional Employees International Union

    80 8TH AVE STE 610
    NEW YORK, NY 10011-7179