Labor Union

Rhode Island AFL-CIO

Website:

www.rhodeislandaflcio.org

Location:

PROVIDENCE, RI

Tax ID:

05-0283562

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(5)

Budget (2019):

Revenue: $1,100,451
Expenses: $1,012,054
Assets: $938,520

Type:

Labor Union

President:

George Nee

The Rhode Island AFL-CIO is a state chapter of the AFL-CIO, the largest association of labor unions in the United States. The chapter, which has approximately 80,000 members, represents labor unions in Rhode Island. [1]

The state federation has supported using taxpayer funds for projects such as sports stadiums. [2] It has also endorsed raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour and opposed adjustments to the state pension program. [3] [4]

Background

The AFL-CIO was founded in 1955 following the merger of two of the nation’s largest labor organizations, the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations. While the AFL-CIO made efforts to remain relatively politically centrist through the 1970s, its membership and leadership started shifting to favor public-sector workers starting in the 1980s. This also led to closer ties between the AFL-CIO and the Democratic Party, as well as more explicit support for left-of-center economic policies and societal values. [5]

The Rhode Island chapter of the AFL-CIO claims to be the inheritor of a long-organized labor history in the state, citing collective action by workers going back as far as the mid-1700s. The state federation also cites the activism of the Industrial Workers of the World, an early 20th-century radical-left international labor union, as well as local socialist and communist groups. [6]

Partnerships

The Rhode Island AFL-CIO has constituency groups and partner organizations. [7]

The Institute for Labor Studies and Research is a left-of-center educational organization based in Rhode Island that provides training and courses to workers. This includes basic education such as English classes for non-native speakers, high school completion assistance for adults, and financial literacy, as well as employment rights training, job skills training, Spanish classes, and college courses. [8]

The Coalition of Labor Union Women, which claims to be the only national organization in the United States for women in organized labor, has a Rhode Island chapter which also partners with the state AFL-CIO chapter. [9]

Political Activity

In September 2017, the executive board of the Rhode Island AFL-CIO unanimously endorsed the construction of a new baseball stadium in the city of Pawtucket. At the time, the projected amount of taxpayer funds that city authorities would spend on the project was approximately $1.4 million. [10]

The Rhode Island AFL-CIO supported the initiative to raise the state minimum wage to $15 per hour. The increase was signed into law in May 2021. [11]

Leadership

George Nee is the president of the Rhode Island AFL-CIO. He previously held the positions of secretary-treasurer and executive director. Nee also sits on the board of the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation Board. Before joining the leadership of the state federation, he was the president of a local chapter of the Service Employees International Union, a leading labor union which has close ties to prominent left-of-center institutions such as the Democracy Alliance. Nee is a graduate of Rhode Island College. [12]

In October 2011, Nee claimed that a proposal to remove annual cost of living increases from the state pension program would be “the first time in our state, and one of the first times in the country” that such a change had been considered. Left-of-center fact-checking website PolitiFact rated Nee’s claim as only “half true,” citing a similar measure which had passed the previous year, as well as seven other states that had suspended cost of living adjustments to state pensions in previous years. [13]

Financials

In 2019, the Rhode Island AFL-CIO collected just over $1 million in membership dues and other service fees, and approximately $1.1 million in total revenue. More than $620,000 went towards staff compensation and benefits, including the salary of federation president George Nee, which exceeded $147,000. Nee further received an additional $58,866 in other compensation from the Rhode Island AFL-CIO and from related organizations. [14]

References

  1. RI AFL-CIO. Accessed September 26, 2021. https://rhodeislandaflcio.org/ ^
  2. “Rhode Island AFL-CIO Supports New Stadium for Pawtucket.” Minor League Baseball. September 13, 2017. Accessed September 26, 2021. https://www.milb.com/pawtucket/news/rhode-island-afl-cio-supports-new-stadium-for-pawtucket-254073784 ^
  3. Rhode Island AFL-CIO. Facebook. May 19, 2021. Accessed September 26, 2021. https://www.facebook.com/RIAFLCIO/posts/15-minimum-wage-will-be-signed-into-law-tomorrowthank-you-to-all-who-made-this-p/10164830875685478/ ^
  4. George Nee. PolitiFact. October 23, 2011. Accessed September 26, 2021. https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2011/oct/23/george-nee/rhode-island-afl-cio-president-george-nee-says-red/ ^
  5. Kenneth Weinstein. “From Meany to Sweeney: Labor’s Leftward Tilt.” The Heritage Foundation. October 4, 1996. Accessed September 25, 2021. https://www.heritage.org/jobs-and-labor/report/meany-sweeney-labors-leftward-tilt-0 ^
  6. “Highlights of R.I. Labor History.” RI AFL-CIO. Accessed September 26, 2021. https://rhodeislandaflcio.org/ri-labor-history ^
  7. Who We Are. RI AFL-CIO. Accessed September 26, 2021. https://rhodeislandaflcio.org/who-we-are-1 ^
  8. About ILSR. Institute for Labor Studies and Research. Accessed September 26, 2021. https://www.riilsr.org/about-ilsr ^
  9. About ILSR. Institute for Labor Studies and Research. Accessed September 26, 2021. https://www.riilsr.org/about-ilsr ^
  10. “Rhode Island AFL-CIO Supports New Stadium for Pawtucket.” Minor League Baseball. September 13, 2017. Accessed September 26, 2021. https://www.milb.com/pawtucket/news/rhode-island-afl-cio-supports-new-stadium-for-pawtucket-254073784 ^
  11. Rhode Island AFL-CIO. Facebook. May 19, 2021. Accessed September 26, 2021. https://www.facebook.com/RIAFLCIO/posts/15-minimum-wage-will-be-signed-into-law-tomorrowthank-you-to-all-who-made-this-p/10164830875685478/ ^
  12. George Nee. Rhode Island Commerce. Accessed September 26, 2021. https://commerceri.com/about-us/george-nee/ ^
  13. George Nee. PolitiFact. October 23, 2011. Accessed September 26, 2021. https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2011/oct/23/george-nee/rhode-island-afl-cio-president-george-nee-says-red/ ^
  14. Rhode Island AFL-CIO, Return of an Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990O), 2019. https://apps.irs.gov/pub/epostcard/cor/050283562_201912_990O_2021060718277326.pdf ^
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: April 1, 1966

  • 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 $1,100,451 $1,012,054 $938,520 $0 N $15,500 $1,076,345 $6,506 $234,253 PDF
    2018 Dec Form 990 $1,177,240 $1,043,202 $850,123 $0 N $78,021 $1,088,376 $3,375 $224,265 PDF
    2017 Dec Form 990 $1,107,508 $1,082,014 $716,085 $0 N $0 $1,096,265 $2,341 $222,468
    2016 Dec Form 990 $1,035,872 $1,041,482 $690,591 $0 N $0 $1,032,305 $2,338 $214,220
    2015 Dec Form 990 $1,091,633 $1,010,089 $696,201 $0 N $18,750 $1,069,215 $2,479 $207,537 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $1,067,500 $1,029,364 $675,409 $60,752 N $40,452 $1,024,387 $2,661 $202,671 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990 $968,616 $898,057 $636,023 $59,502 N $25,000 $940,178 $3,438 $197,827 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $994,564 $1,002,481 $564,240 $58,278 N $160,332 $830,557 $3,643 $192,730 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $0 $0 $0 $0 N $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Rhode Island AFL-CIO

    194 SMITH ST
    PROVIDENCE, RI 02908-4914