Tax ID:


Tax-Exempt Status:


Budget (2019):

Revenue: $4,914,456
Expenses: $4,255,364
Assets: $4,546,899


Labor Union


Timothy Burga

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The Ohio AFL-CIO is the state affiliate for the AFL-CIO labor union federation in Ohio. 1 The union is also affiliated with the Action Network, an online tool for left-progressive groups to use for fundraising and advocacy purposes. 2


In 2006, the AFL-CIO consolidated its 36 central labor councils in Ohio into just 22 after years of declining membership enrollments and member defections. It was the first major restructuring for the Ohio AFL-CIO in nearly half a century. The Ohio restructuring was the ninth of its kind, part of a process the AFL-CIO called the “New Alliance,” involving mass consolidations of labor councils across the U.S. to strengthen the labor movement and increase efficiency. 3

William A. Burga, the Ohio AFL-CIO’s president in 2006, justified the reshuffling by saying that the consolidations would make the union movement “as powerful and united as possible.” He went on to say that the consolidations would not only try to reverse membership decline but also allow the Ohio AFL-CIO to better “mobilize” its members and place “more focus on political, legislative and organizing” than it had previously. 4

Two years before this decision, Burga was telling members that they should not vote for incumbent President George W. Bush (R) in the 2004 presidential election. In an official statement, Burga claimed that there were “examples of extreme right-wing control of political power” all around them and sought to rouse the labor movement with a call to action: “Politics is power—use it!” 5

In 2012, President Barack Obama (D) visited Ohio to attend the Ohio AFL-CIO’s convention in Cleveland. He gave a speech lambasting Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, praising Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), conflating the Democratic Party with the labor movement, and encouraging union members to vote. 6

In April 2007, Burga stepped down from the Ohio AFL-CIO presidency, a role he had filled for 14 years. On the occasion, Burga recounted the union’s accomplishments during his tenure, such as forcing the state of Ohio to rollback benefits cuts, raise the minimum wage, and helping to create Ohio’s “BestRx,” an affordable prescription-drug program. 7

In June 2020, the Ohio AFL-CIO endorsed the Democratic presidential nominee, former Vice President Joe Biden (D) on Twitter. 8 In October 2020, its YouTube channel released videos telling its members not to vote for then-President Donald Trump (R) in the upcoming presidential election. 9 10 The organization’s Twitter account regularly tweets and retweets left-progressive content and Democratic Party messaging. 11

In June 2020, the Ohio AFL-CIO endorsed Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) in his bid to succeed retiring Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH). 12


According to 2018 tax filings, the Ohio AFL-CIO had a revenue of $4,247,944, expenses of $4,592,212, and $4,377,068 in assets. 13

The organization has been a frequent contributor to Democratic political campaigns in the past, giving to political action committees like the Ohio Senate Democrats and the Ohio House Democratic Caucus Fund, as well as to races at the state and county levels. 14


Timothy Burga is the president of the Ohio AFL-CIO. 15 He is an outspoken critic of conservative groups like the Freedom Foundation; in 2019, he called the group “divisive” and claimed it had “dangerous ideas” that would “make workplaces less safe.” 16 In August 2021, Burga was featured in a video promoting the PRO Act, a congressional bill that would give unions coercive powers that have been illegal in the United States for decades. 17 18

Jason Perlman has worked as the political director of Ohio AFL-CIO since 2013. In this position, he has managed the organization’s “million-dollar phone bank operation” and its social media accounts, gave interviews and comment to press outlets, created activist campaigns, and worked with elected officials on legislation and “lobby days” where officials meet with the union’s members to discuss issues. 19


  1. “About Us.” Ohio AFL-CIO. August 23, 2016. Accessed October 24, 2021.
  2. “Ohio AFL-CIO.” The Action Network. Accessed October 24, 2021.
  3. “Ohio AFL-CIO Realigns amid Declining Numbers and Union Defections.” Cleveland 19 News. April 14, 2006. Accessed October 23, 2021.
  4. “Ohio AFL-CIO Realigns amid Declining Numbers and Union Defections.” Cleveland 19 News. April 14, 2006.
  5. “Labors Vote Key to Ousting Bush in 2004.” People’s World. January 4, 2004.
  6. “Remarks by the President to the AFL-CIO Convention—Columbus, OH.” Obama White House. National Archives and Records Administration. September 17, 2012.
  7. “Ohio AFL-CIO President Stepping Down.” Columbus Dispatch. April 11, 2007.
  8. Ohio AFL-CIO. Twitter. June 18, 2020. Accessed October 24, 2021.
  9. “Trump Is No Friend to Labor.” YouTube. October 1, 2020.
  10. “Trump Is Anti Ohio.” YouTube. October 1, 2020.
  11. Ohio AFL-CIO. “Ohio AFL-CIO.” Twitter. Accessed October 24, 2021.
  12. Popielarz, Taylor. “Ohio AFL-CIO Backs Tim Ryan in U.S. Senate Race.” Spectrum 1 News. June 15, 2021.–senate-race.
  13. Ohio AFL-CIO, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990O), 2018. Part I: Lines 12, 18, 22.
  14. “Ohio AFL-CIO.” Accessed October 23, 2021.
  15. “About Us.” Ohio AFL-CIO. August 23, 2016. Accessed October 24, 2021.
  16. “Statement from Ohio AFL-CIO President Tim Burga on Freedom Foundation.” AFSCME. November 1, 2019.
  17. North Shore Federation of Labor – Cleveland’s Unions. “Ohio AFL-CIO President Tim Burga on the PRO Act!” Facebook, August 12, 2021. Accessed October 23, 2021.
  18. “Consequences of the PRO (Union Boss) Act.” Capital Research Center. July 7, 2021.
  19. “Jason Perlman.” LinkedIn. Accessed October 23, 2021.

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Melissa Cropper
    Executive Board Member
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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
    2019 Dec Form 990 $4,914,456 $4,255,364 $4,546,899 $17,937 Y $0 $3,359,308 $28,640 $389,142
    2018 Dec Form 990 $4,247,944 $4,592,212 $4,377,068 $17,431 Y $0 $3,222,092 $12,752 $494,394 PDF
    2017 Dec Form 990 $3,617,172 $2,692,020 $4,715,018 $8,082 N $0 $3,550,685 $12,442 $490,204 PDF
    2016 Dec Form 990 $3,356,717 $3,135,220 $3,798,809 $17,025 N $0 $3,414,644 $4,141 $466,061 PDF
    2015 Dec Form 990 $3,326,141 $2,542,682 $6,390,802 $2,624,523 Y $0 $3,322,679 $0 $378,341 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $3,275,937 $3,069,479 $6,409,761 $3,525,044 Y $0 $3,436,999 $0 $362,816 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990 $3,454,075 $2,595,650 $3,843,789 $1,165,530 Y $0 $3,587,716 $672 $317,087 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $4,059,245 $3,375,402 $3,164,806 $1,344,972 Y $0 $4,134,864 $1,328 $364,542 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $3,557,595 $3,004,422 $2,602,147 $1,466,468 Y $0 $3,610,425 $1,900 $284,281 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Ohio AFL-CIO

    500 S FRONT ST STE 700
    COLUMBUS, OH 43215-7631