Non-profit

Union Plus

Website:

www.unionplus.org/

Location:

Washington, DC

Tax ID:

52-1457836

Formation:

1986

CEO:

Mitch Stevens

Tax-Exempt Status:

512 (b)(13)

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Union Plus is a nonprofit organization created by the AFL-CIO labor union federation that offers benefits to current and retired union members and their families including affinity credit cards, mortgage assistance programs, strike and layoff benefits, dental and vision coverage, car rentals, and online education. 1 The Union Plus Scholarship Program has awarded $5.2 million to students of union families since 1991. 2

History

The nonprofit corporation Union Privilege Benefits Program was created in 1986 due to “shrinking” union membership. 3 4 Ray Denison, former legislative director of the AFL-CIO, was the first president. 5

It started out as a credit card for its 13.5 million members in 1986 but had plans to expand to include “travel, vision and dental care, purchase plans for books and records, and even funeral insurance.” 6

The credit card claimed it would save union workers money with “low interest rates charged under the union credit card plan.” 7 In 1986, the credit card had interest rates of 12.5 percent and about 400,000 union members signed up for it. 8

Denison said in 1986 that it was the “most revolutionary step taken by the labor movement” since the merger of the AFL-CIO. 9

In 1987, legal services were added to Union Privilege Benefits Program. 10

The AFL-CIO stated it had 60 unions with 13 million active members participating in Union Privilege by 2003. 11

In 2004, the AFL-CIO proposed taking $25 million from the Union Plus credit card program and using it to finance a “massive drive” against Walmart. 12

In 2005, the AFL-CIO stated it was receiving $50 million in royalties from the Union Privilege credit cards, half of which was given to affiliated unions. 13 Tom Buffenbarger, a member of the AFL-CIO’s finance committee, criticized the labor federation for relying on HSBC Holdings royalty payments for issuing credit cards. 14

Union Plus Home Mortgage Company.

The Union Plus Home Mortgage Company was founded in 2016. 15 It was owned by the AFL-CIO, Union Plus, and some AFL-CIO member unions. 16 It was created to give union members more mortgage options including access to the Union Plus mortgage assistance program. 17 The labor movement claimed any revenue generated by the Union Plus Home Mortgage Company. 18 It announced it was closing and would stop taking new loan applications after July 8, 2022. 19

Union Plus works with Wells Fargo bank to provide union members assistance with home financing. 20

Leadership

Mitch Stevens is the CEO of Union Plus, a post he has held since July 2016. 21 He was also a board member of the Union Plus Mortgage Company. 22

Liz Shuler, the president of the AFL-CIO union federation, is the chair of the Union Plus board of directors. 23 24 The board of directors are volunteers who hold offices in various labor unions. 25

References

  1. Union Plus. About Us. Accessed June 5, 2023. https://www.unionplus.org/page/about-us
  2. Union Plus. Funding Details. Accessed June 5, 2023. https://1unionplusscholars.communityforce.com/Funds/FundDetails.aspx?3974434C474C374F385A79754C674C566349303967446A484F715951696265626A5363597A6B6545396C78444178726338512B73664F506A636B577251445746
  3. Jerome Cahill. “AFL-CIO Put Labor Hopes On Charge Card”; New York Daily News. July 27, 1986. Accessed June 4, 2023.
  4. Henry Weinstein. “AFL-CIO Starts Legal Services Program”; Los Angeles Times. Feb. 17, 1987. Accessed June 4, 2023.
  5. Jerome Cahill. “AFL-CIO Put Labor Hopes On Charge Card”; New York Daily News. July 27, 1986. Accessed June 4, 2023.
  6. Jerome Cahill. “AFL-CIO Put Labor Hopes On Charge Card”; New York Daily News. July 27, 1986. Accessed June 4, 2023.
  7. Michigan State AFL-CIO Advertisement. “A ‘New’ Union Card”; Detroit Free Press. July 15, 1986. Accessed June 4, 2023.
  8. Henry Weinstein. “AFL-CIO Starts Legal Services Program”; Los Angeles Times. Feb. 17, 1987. Accessed June 4, 2023.
  9. Jerome Cahill. “AFL-CIO Put Labor Hopes On Charge Card”; New York Daily News. July 27, 1986. Accessed June 4, 2023.
  10. Henry Weinstein. “AFL-CIO Starts Legal Services Program”; Los Angeles Times. Feb. 17, 1987. Accessed June 4, 2023.
  11. News Service. “Cingular Wireless Offers New Discounts”; Atlanta Constitution. Jan. 22, 2003. Accessed June 5, 2023.
  12. Amy Joyce. Thomas Edsall. “AFL-CIO Opens Door To Reorganization Of Labor Unions”; Washington Post. Nov. 11, 2004. Accessed June 5, 2023.
  13. Brian Tumulty. “AFL-CIO Plans 106 Layoffs As Part Of Restructuring”; Gannett News Service. May 4, 2005. Accessed June 4, 2023.
  14. Holly Rosenkrantz. “Creative Accounting Masked AFL-CIO’s Finances, Official Says”; San Franciso Examiner. May 29, 2009. Accessed June 5, 2023.
  15. Mitch Stevens. LinkedIn. Accessed June 4, 2023. https://www.linkedin.com/in/mitchstevens/
  16. PR Newswire. “New Union-Owned Mortgage Company Now Serving New York’s Working Families”; Sept. 23, 2019. Accessed June 4, 2023. https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/new-union-owned-mortgage-company-now-serving-new-york-s-working-families-1028545918
  17. PR Newswire. “New Union-Owned Mortgage Company Now Serving New York’s Working Families”; Sept. 23, 2019. Accessed June 4, 2023. https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/new-union-owned-mortgage-company-now-serving-new-york-s-working-families-1028545918
  18. PR Newswire. “New Union-Owned Mortgage Company Now Serving New York’s Working Families”; Sept. 23, 2019. Accessed June 4, 2023. https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/new-union-owned-mortgage-company-now-serving-new-york-s-working-families-1028545918
  19. Union Plus Mortgage Company. Accessed June 4, 2023. https://www.unionplusmortgage.com/
  20. Union Plus. Wells Fargo Helps Union Members With Home Financing. Accessed June 5, 2023. https://www.unionplus.org/benefits/home-auto/wells-fargo-mortgage-program
  21. Mitch Stevens. LinkedIn. Accessed June 4, 2023. https://www.linkedin.com/in/mitchstevens/
  22. Mitch Stevens. LinkedIn. Accessed June 4, 2023. https://www.linkedin.com/in/mitchstevens/
  23. Union Plus. Board Of Directors. Accessed June 4, 2023. https://www.unionplus.org/page/board-directors
  24. AFL-CIO. Leadership. Liz Shuler. Accessed June 4, 2023. https://aflcio.org/about/leadership/liz-shuler
  25. Union Plus. Board Of Directors. Accessed June 4, 2023. https://www.unionplus.org/page/board-directors
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Union Plus


Washington, DC