Before I start, let me state that this thread is about union leadership. I am not "anti-worker" and will not respond to such accusations.
Labor Unions' Glass Houses
I came across a Department of Labor site, which publishes the disclosure statements they require from labor unions. Financial information is
searchable by union name and other parameters. Once located, you have the option of downloading the info in Excel format, permitting further sorting.
I took a look at some info reported on the DOL form LM-2, by the AFL-CIO National HQ, the SEIU National HQ. And, just for kicks, I checked out SAG and
AFTRA, since they were brought up in another thread on some union activities.
In 2009, SEIU's President, Andy Stern was compensated $306,388. Eliseo Medina, the Executive VP earned $242,286 and Anne Burger, the
Secretary/Treasurer, $252,724. But, considering the unions' constant bemoaning of the disparity between worker and employer wages, you would think
all SEIU employees would be equally compensated. Well, tell that to the Night Cleaner of HQ, who earned $25,000, the same year. I wonder if she is a
member of the SEIU, herself? Where is the solidarity and protest for her?
In 2010, Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO, was paid $283,340, while Arlene Holt-Baker , Executive VP, and Paul Lemmon, Assistant to the Pres.,
earned $254,138 and $199,811, respectively. But, maybe the Night Cleaner over at SEIU should apply at the AFL-CIO, where she could earn $37K.
What about AFTRA?
Ken Roberts, National Executive Dir. $359,614
Stephen Burrow, Executive Dir $294,978
Mathis Dunn, Asst. NED $242,998
And, topping out the list, is SAG's leadership
David White, NED $440,575
John McGuire, Senior Advisor $317,471
Pamm Fair, Deputy Ex. Dir $302,075
Secretaries at SAG average about $35K
Does that make you feel better about those union dues?
And, then there's this...
Faced with the problem of getting his supporters in to the Assembly Chamber on Tuesday, the governor and his guard escorted a cadre of lobbyists
and well-heeled friends through a utility tunnel that runs from a parking lot across the street, under the capitol grounds to the capitol basement.
Madison City Council woman Shiva Bidar-Sielaff heard that the tunnel might be being used for this purpose and went to check it out. She found about a
dozen police officers guarding the tunnel entrance, some from Milwaukee, some in suits with unknown insignia. She witnessed an unmarked police vehicle
screech into the garage. Out stepped the First Lady, Tonnett Walker, who was hustled into the tunnel as if the parking garage was under attack. "It
was all very 'Men in Black,'" the City Council woman said with a laugh who watched with a handful of other observers. Other Walker supporters had
been bused in earlier; the bus signs and arrows were still up on the
I've read others making an issue of lobbyists being basically smuggled into the Wisconsin capitol building, via this tunnel. My first thought was how
some are attempting to make it seem Walker had constructed the tunnel, with his own hands, since taking office in January. Perhaps, Jim Doyle should
be questioned about how he utilized that tunnel, during his term.
Another point I'd like to make, concerning that paragraph, is the hypocritical debasement of the "lobbyists", supposedly shuttled through the
tunnel. While I, also, have a certain disdain for lobbyists, the unions are themselves, special interest groups represented by lobbyists. But, in this
case the lobbyists are considered evil, because they are on the "other side".
In fact, in 2010, the AFL-CIO (excluding all of their sub-divisions) spent over $30.5 million on "Political Activities, Lobbying, Contributions,
Gifts and Grants". The SEIU (also excluding their subdivisions), over $60 million.