LAYOFFS! Amid Declining Membership, AFL-CIO Begins Letting Employees Go

By NTK Staff | 02.24.2017 @1:13pm

The AFL-CIO’s current predicament is reminiscent of 2005, when the nation’s largest labor group cut staff by 25 percent…

The “main U.S. federation of organized labor” is laying off “several dozen” employees according to a Bloomberg News report.

A spokesman for the AFL-CIO blamed “well-financed anti-labor opposition” for its current financial situation.

The affected employees, who include both union members and management, were informed Wednesday and Thursday of the cuts. Three people familiar with the cutback said several dozen jobs were lost. The AFL-CIO’s latest federal filing listed about 400 employees.

The AFL-CIO is comprised of 55 unions that are made up of 12.5 million workers, according to Bloomberg. The workers range from teachers groups to construction workers. How bad have things gotten for unions?

In 2016, 10.7 percent of wage and salary workers in the U.S. belonged to a union. That’s just over half the rate it was 1983.

To give context to the AFL-CIO’s decline, a 2005 Washington Post report noted that in 1995, the group’s reserve fund stood at $61 million. By 2005, the reserve had dropped to $31 million. That same year, the AFL-CIO cut its staff by 25 percent.

The Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which is the second-largest union in the nation comprised of about two million members, announced in December it would be cutting its annual budget by 30 percent. That group is responsible for the “Fight For $15” movement that was popularized during the 2016 Democratic primary. The SEIU, which has an annual budget of about $300 million, represents a wide array of workers, including government and health care workers.

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